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Bioactivity of essential oils from leaves and bark of Laurelia sempervirens and Drimys winteri against Acyrthosiphon pisum

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BACKGROUND: The pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum (Harris), is a cosmopolitan pest that attacks a wide range of legume crops and vectors important plant virus diseases. In this project, essential oils from the leaf (L) and bark (B) of Laurelia sempervirens (Ruiz & Pavón) Tul. (L) and Drimys winteri JR Forster & G Forster (D) were extracted, and their deterrent and insecticidal activities were tested under laboratory conditions.

RESULTS: By use of GC‐MS, safrole was found as the main constituent in LL and LB oils, while the main constituents were more diverse in DL and DB oils. In the deterrent bioassays with A. pisum under choice conditions, the four oils were active, with LL being the most active, followed by LB, DB and DL. The respective deterrence indices were 1.0, 0.89, 0.87 and 0.46 when aphids were exposed for 24 h to 4 µL mL−1. Although there was no aphid mortality when oils were sprayed on faba bean leaves before aphid infestation, there was 58 and 42% mortality when settled aphids were directly sprayed with 4.0 µL mL−1 of LL and LB respectively; DB and DL oils caused ≤18% mortality. In a third series, the essential oils of LL and LB caused 100% mortality when applied at a dose of 64 µL L−1 air by fumigation to faba bean plants infested with A. pisum; at the same dose, DB and DL oils caused 68 and 63% mortality respectively. When fumigation was limited to 2 h, the respective LC50 values for LL and LB oils were 10.6–14.3 µL L−1 air and 9.8–13.2 µL L−1 air.

CONCLUSION: Because of their high deterrent and insecticidal activities, the essential oils from leaf and bark of L. sempervirens may be explored as potential natural aphicides. Copyright © 2010 Society of Chemical Industry
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Keywords: Drimys winteri; Laurelia sempervirens; aphicide; deterrence; essential oils; pea aphid; settling behaviour

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-12-01

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