Antifeeding Activity of Isoquinoline Alkaloids Identified in Coptis japonica Roots Against Hyphantria cunea (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae) and Agelastica coerulea (Coleoptera: Galerucinae)

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The antifeeding activity of 3 isoquinoline alkaloids identified from roots of Coptis japonica Makino toward 4th-instar larvae of Hyphantria cunea Drury and adults of Agelastica coerulea Baly was examined using the leaf-dipping bioassay. The biologically active constituents of the Coptis roots were characterized as the isoquinoline alkaloids berberine, palmatine and coptisine by spectroscopic analysis. In a test with H. cunea larvae, the antifeeding activity was much more pronounced in an application of a mixture of palmatine iodide and berberine chloride (1:1, wt:wt) at 250 ppm (82.3%) and 500 ppm (100%), compared with palmatine iodide (76.0%) and berberine chloride (75.4%) alone at 500 ppm. These results indicate a synergistic effect. With A. courulea adults, berberine chloride showed 57.5 and 91.1% antifeeding activity at 125 and 250 ppm, respectively; whereas, weak activity was obtained in application of 500 ppm of palmatine iodide (41.4%) and coptisine chloride (52.4%) alone. The Coptis root-derived compounds merit further study as potential insect-control agents.

Keywords: Agelastica coerulea; Coptis japonica; Hyphantria cunea; antifeedant; isoquinoline alkaloid; synergism

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2000

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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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