Influence of Azadirachtin, a Botanical Insecticide, on Chrysoperla carnea (Stephens) Reproduction: Toxicity and Ultrastructural Approach

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A commercial formulation of azadirachtin (Align) was tested on Chrysoperla carnea (Stephens) (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) adults to determine its effects on reproduction. Three methods of exposure were carried out in the laboratory (residual, direct contact and ingestion) with concentrations close to the maximum field recommended concentration in Spain (48 mg AI/liter). Align proved to be harmless to newly emerged adults irrespective of the mode of exposure. Nevertheless, fecundity was reduced in a reversible way in females that have ingested azadiracthin after the onset of oviposition. Fertility was not different from that of controls in all treatments. Additional tests showed that males were not involved in the reduction of oviposition. Electron microscopy studies pointed out that Align interfered with vitellogenin synthesis and/or its uptake by developing oocytes; thus, growing follicles in treated females were significantly smaller that those of the controls. The role of azadirachtin as a compound that may influence several hormonal and protein titers involved in reproduction is also discussed.

RESUMEN Align, formulación comercial de la Azadiractina, se ensayó en adultos de Chrysoperla carnea (Stephens) (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) para determinar su posible efecto en la reproducción. Se estudiaron tres métodos de exposición diferentes (contacto residual y tópico e ingestión) con concentraciones próximas a las de campo (48 mg i.a./liter). Align no es tóxico en adultos recién emergidos independientemente del tipo de ensayo realizado. Sin embargo, la azadiractina redujo la fecundidad de forma reversible en las hembras que habían ingerido el insecticida solamente cuando éstas ya habían comenzado la oviposición. La fertilidad en las hembras tratadas no difirió de los testigos en ninguno de los tratamientos realizados. Ensayos adicionales mostraron que los machos no eran responsables de la reducción de la oviposición. Los estudios de microscopía electrónica apuntaron a una interferencia del insecticida con la síntesis de vitelogenina y/o su absorción por los oocitos en desarrollo. Los folículos en desarrollo de las hembras tratadas eran de menor tamaño que los de los testigos. En este trabajo se discute el papel del insecticida como un compuesto que podría influir en las concentraciones de hormonas y proteínas que intervienen en la reproducción.

Keywords: Chrysoperla carnea; azadiracthin; egg hatch; electron microscopy; fecundity

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2004

More about this publication?
  • 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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