Chemical composition and insecticidal activity of the essential oils of Piper marginatum, Piper callosum and Vitex agnus-castus

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2021-01-01

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During grain storage, a considerable amount of product is lost because of insects, such as Zabrotes subfasciatus. Currently, to mitigate these risks, studies are searching for plants with potential for the control of agricultural pests, also known as botanical insecticides. In this study, the fumigant toxicity of the essential oils of Piper callosum (PC-EO), Piper marginatum (PM-EO) and Vitex agnus-castus (VA-EO) against Zabrotes subfasciatus was investigated. The essential oils of PC-EO, PM-EO and VA-EO were analysed by gas chromatography (GC-MS), and the major components were 3,4-methylenedioxypropiophenone (10.4%), bicyclogermacrene (10.1%) and germacrene D (9.9%) for PM-EO; safrol (29.3%) for PC-EO; and 1,8-cineol (23.8%) for VA-EO. In fumigation tests, VA-EO killed 100% Zabrotes subfasciatus at a concentration of 0.004 µL/L air after 24 h of treatment, whereas PC-EO and PM-EO at 0.01 µL/L air caused 100% Z. subfasciatus mortality after 48 h. The VA-EO sample provided the lowest LD50 after 24 h (0.17 µL/L air), followed by PC-EO (0.78 µL/L air) and PM-EO (1.17 µL/L air). These results demonstrate that the essential oils of these species can be an alternative to control pests in stored products. This is the first report of the fumigant potential of these species against Z. subfasciatus.

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Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciencias, v. 93, n. 3, 2021.

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