Organothiocyanates as Insecticides and Carbamate Synergists1

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Benzyl thiocyanates, benzyl isothiocyanates, phenyl thiocyanates, and alkyl thiocyanates were examined for mode of action as insecticides and as synergists for the carbamate insecticide carbaryl. Substituted benzyl thiocyanates were moderately toxic to the house fly, Musca domestica L., except for p-nitrobenzyl thiocyanate which was nontoxic. All the benzyl thiocyanates were effective synergists for carbaryl. However, the corresponding benzyl isothiocyanates, although slightly more toxic, were nonsynergistic. The phenyl thiocyanates were of the same order of toxicity but were also nonsynergistic. The benzyl thiocyanates were found to inhibit tyrosinase and house fly phenolase in vitro at 10-5 to 10-2 M and effectiveness was directly related. to the electron withdrawing power of the para-substituent. It appears that the intact organothiocyanate molecule is essential for both toxicity and for synergistic activity. Carbamate synergism may result from complex formation with an essential metal cofactor of the detoxifying enzymes.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 1968

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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