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PHOTOTOXINS AS INSECTICIDES AND NATURAL PLANT DEFENCES

  • Paul G. Fields (a1), John T. Arnason (a1), Bernard J.R. Philogène (a1), Richard R. Aucoin (a1), Peter Morand (a2) and Chantal Soucy-Breau (a2)...

Abstract

The thiophenes alpha-terthienyl and methyl-alpha-terthienyl are found in many species of the family Asteraceae and are highly phototoxic to mosquito larvae. These compounds and a synthetic analogue, cyano-alpha-terthienyl, controlled Aedes intrudens Dyar (Diptera: Culicidae) larvae at application rates between 10 and 40 g per hectare in field trials. These concentrations are similar to those currently used with chemical control agents. Piperonyl butoxide, a synergist used with pyrethrin, greatly increased the mortality of mosquito larvae at low application rates of the most potent phototoxin, cyano-alpha-terthienyl.Although we have demonstrated previously that these phototoxic defences are effective against some phytophagous insects, more recently we studied insects that are able to feed on a phototoxic plant, in order to examine modes of resistance to phototoxins. Chrysolina spp. (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) larvae are susceptible to phototoxicity but avoid it by feeding on Hypericum perforatum L. (Hypericaceae) at dawn and by hiding during the day. Chrysolina adults avoid phototoxicity by the presence of opaque cuticles that block the sunlight. First-instar larvae of Anaitis plagiata (L.) (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) avoid feeding on the glands that contain the phototoxin. Later-instar larvae feed on the entire leaf, yet are not susceptible to phototoxicity, indicating they have biochemical defenses against photo-induced damage.

On trouve l'alpha-terthienyl et le méthyl-alpha-terthienyl dans plusieurs plantes de la famille des Astéracées. Ces deux thiophènes sont très toxiques envers les larves de moustique. Lors d'essais sur le terrain à des concentrations de 10 à 40 g per hectare, ces composés et un analogue synthétique, le cyano-alpha-terthienyl, ont contrôlé des larves d'Aedes intrudens Dyar (Diptera : Culicidae). Ces concentrations sont semblables à celles couramment utilisées avec les produits chimiques standards. Le pipéronyl butoxide, un synergiste utilisé avec la pyréthrine, des concentrations faibles de la phototoxine la plus active, le cyano-alpha-terthienyl, a beaucoup augmenté la mortalité des larvae de moustique.

Nous avons démontré auparavant que ces défenses phototoxiques sont efficaces contre certains insects herbivores, mais plus récemment nous avons étudié des insectes se nourrissant d'une plante phototoxique, dans le but d'examiner leurs modes de résistance aux phototoxines. Les larves de Chrysolina spp. (Coleoptera : Chrysomelidae) sont susceptibles à la phototoxicité mais y échappent en se nourrissant sur Hypericum perforatum L. (Hypercicae) à l'aube et en se cachant pendant la journée. Les adultes de Chrysolina évitent la phototoxicité grâce à leur cuticule opaque qui arrête la lumière solaire. Les larves du premier stade d'Anaitis plagiata (L.) (Lepidoptera : Geometridae) évitent les glandes qui contiennent la phototoxine. Les larves plus âgées se nourrissent de toute la feuille, sans être susceptibles à la phototoxicité, ce qui indique qu'elles possèdent des défenses biochimiques contre les dommages induits par la lumière.

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PHOTOTOXINS AS INSECTICIDES AND NATURAL PLANT DEFENCES

  • Paul G. Fields (a1), John T. Arnason (a1), Bernard J.R. Philogène (a1), Richard R. Aucoin (a1), Peter Morand (a2) and Chantal Soucy-Breau (a2)...

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