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Modulation of growth rate and fecundity of eudrilus eugeniae by ultraviolet radiation

Sam Balraj.C* and Jeyaseeli.K *Sam Balraj.C: Research Associate in School of Biotechnology in Karunya University, Coimbatore, tamil nadu, South India

*K.Jeyaseeli is Doing her Master of Philosophy in Biotechnology In Kaliswari College, Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu, South India


Date Received: 2008 February 13

Date Published: 2008 March 17


Email: [email protected]



In about 330 BC Darwin coined earthworms as “the intestine of the soil”. Based on the ecological consideration earthworms can be classified in to epigeics, anecies and endogeics. Earthworms play a vital role in soil environment at the same time it can be used to degrade organic waste materials in to compost (Vermicompost).These belongs to the class of hermaphroditic invertebrates, which produce egg capsules (Cocoons). Among the various species distributed worldwide, Eudrilus eugeniae has been much preferred for its short generation time and extraordinary high productivity. Eudrilus eugeniae grows rapidly and is quite prolific. The advancement of molecular biology has paved way to introduce novel characteristics into the living organisms. These techniques enable a direct and cytological mapping of gene localization within the organisms. In the present study we analyzed the effect of Ultra Violet radiation on the chromosomal breakage and fecundity of earthworms. The earthworm cocoons were mutated under Ultra Violet radiation for different time intervals and the fecundity of the earthworm as well as the chromosome breakage in the presence and absence of mitogens were analyzed. The results indicate that exposure of Eudrilus eugeniae to Ultra Violet irradiation could induce chromosome breakage. The growth rates of the irradiated earthworms were found to be increased compared to the control earthworms. Cytogenetic studies in earthworm pave the way for genetic up gradation which results in new morphs, with different genetic make up which ultimately fetches more profit to the Vermi biotechnologist and also to the economy of the country.

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