Benelli G, Govindarajan M, Rajeswary M, Vaseeharan B, Alyahya SA, Alharbi NS, Kadaikunnan S, Khaled JM, Maggi F
Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 2017
The fast-growing resistance development to several synthetic and microbial insecticides currently marketed highlighted the pressing need to develop novel and eco-friendly pesticides. Among the latter, botanical ones are attracting high research interest due to their multiple mechanisms of action and reduced toxicity on non-target vertebrates. Helicoverpa armigera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a key polyphagous insect pest showing insecticide resistance to several synthetic molecules used for its control. Therefore, here we focused on the rhizome essential oil extracted from an overlooked Asian plant species, Cheilocostus speciosus (J. Konig) C. Specht (Costaceae), as a source of compounds showing ingestion toxicity against H. armigera third instar larvae, as well as ovicidal toxicity. In acute larvicidal assays conducted after 24h, the C. speciosus essential oil achieved a LC50 value of 207.45µg/ml. GC and GC-MS analyses highlighted the presence of zerumbone (38.6%), α-humulene (14.5%) and camphene (9.3%) as the major compounds of the oil. Ingestion toxicity tests carried out testing these pure molecules showed LC50 values of 10.64, 17.16 and 20.86µg/ml, for camphene, zerumbone and α-humulene, respectively. Moreover, EC50 values calculated on H. armigera eggs were 35.39, 59.51 and 77.10µg/ml for camphene, zerumbone and α-humulene, respectively. Overall, this study represents the first report on the toxicity of C. speciosus essential oil against insect pests of agricultural and medical veterinary importance, highlighting that camphene, zerumbone and α-humulene have a promising potential as eco-friendly botanical insecticides.
Benelli G, Govindarajan M, Rajeswary M et al. Insecticidal activity of camphene, zerumbone and α-humulene from Cheilocostus speciosus rhizome essential oil against the Old-World bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2017 Nov 27;148:781-786. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2017.11.044.