A Potent Insect Growth Regulator Plumbagin from Plumbago indica Against Pericallia ricini (Lepidoptera: Aractidae)
Plumbagin, a 1, 4-Naphthalenedione isolated from the Plumbago
indica, exhibited growth regulating activity in the larvae of Pericallai
ricini. The fourth instar and fifth instar larvae were topically treated
with 10, 20, 25, 35, 50, 75 and 100 mg mL-1 concentrations of Plumbagin,
in solvent acetone. Interference in moulting process, ecdysial failure and blockage
of adult emergence were the important morphogenetic abnormalities observed which
resulted in the formation of larval-pupal intermediates, abnormal pupae and
deformed non-viable adults. Results suggest that Plumbagin shows an effective
insect growth regulating activity and exhibits great promise in suppressing
the population of P. ricini.
Received: October 30, 2013;
Accepted: February 03, 2014;
Published: March 18, 2014
The larva of lepidopteron moth Pericallia ricini is a serious polyphagous
pest of agricultural crops. The black hairy caterpillar is a voracious leaf
feeder of country bean Dolichos lablab, Elephant Foot, Drumstick, Coccinia
grandis, Brinjal, Cow pea, Yam, Sweet, Potato, Radish, Arum which is one
of the main vegetable crops of Tamilnadu (Fletcher, 1914;
Nair, 1970; Bustani and Damo, 1984;
David, 2001). During the initial stages, the larvae feed
on the lower side of the leaves and when they reach third instar they begin
to feed voraciously and defoliate the entire plant. When the larval population
was not controlled, the crop yield loss may extend up to 70-80% (Pandey
et al., 1983).
Use of botanical pesticides for protecting crops from insect pests has assumed
greater importance in recent years owing to the growing awareness of indiscriminate
use and consequent harmful effects of the chemical pesticides (Mordue
et al., 1995). Natural plant products are comparatively less toxic,
easily biodegradable and have made them to be the best alternate to the synthetic
pesticides. Identification of phytochemicals which mimic insect morphogenetic
hormones or have growth regulating activity and synthesis of potent hormone
agonists and antagonists in the recent past have led to their consideration
as components of biorational approach to pest management. The well known nature
product, Plumbagin from Plumbago capensi cause an anti-ecdyson effect
and interfere with insect ecdysis (Rembold and Sieber, 1981;
Gujar and Mehorotra, 1998).
Plumbago species are reported in the literature for its biological
activities such as: Antiparasitic (Chan-Bacab and Pena-Rodriguez,
2001), insect antifeedant (Villavicencio and Perez-Escandon,
1992), antitumoral (Devi et al., 1994), antimalarial
(Likhitwitayawuid et al., 1998), antimicrobial
(Didry et al., 1994), anticancer (Parimala
and Sachdanandam, 1993), cardiotonic (Itoigawa et
al., 1991) and antifertility action (Bhargava, 1984)
and others, some of them attributed to the presence of special chemical compounds,
such as naphthoquinones. Plumbagin is a naphthoquinone well distributed among
Plumbago species, specially found in their roots (Van
der Vijver, 1972). This compound has been described in the literature and
showed to possess a wide variety of bioactivities.
In the present investigation, Plumbagin is screened for its growth-regulating activity against the larvae of P. ricini reared on the leaves of Ricinus communis.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Collection of larvae: The eggs and the freshly emerged Ist instar larvae
of P. ricini were collected from the castor plants cultivated in the
vicinity of Madurai and kept in the laboratory at room temperature of 29°C
R.H throughout the period of study. The larvae were fed with fresh castor leaves
and allowed to hatch in to moths. These moths were fed with 10% sucrose solution
soaked in a small piece of cotton. Male and female moths were kept in specially
designed cages for mating. Castor leaves were introduced for egg laying and
the moths were allowed to lay eggs. The egg hatching was completed on the leaf
itself and the freshly emerged first instar larvae were collected and separated.
These individuals were maintained in the laboratory for the experimental purpose.
Growth regulation activity: Plumbagin was obtained from Sigma Company
and it was used for the assays. Plumbagin was diluted in acetone and different
concentrations were prepared for topical application. Growth regulation activities
of Plumbagin were studied at four different concentrations against fourth and
fifth instar larvae of P. ricini. Three larvae were introduced in a petri
plate and each larva was treated topically with 10, 20, 25, 35, 50, 75 and 100
mg for three days. In the control treatment, larvae were treated with 1 μL
of acetone. For each concentration three replicates were maintained. During
the developmental period (fifth instar to pupa), deformed larvae, pupa and the
mortality of larvae were recorded. Percent mortality was calculated (Abbott,
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Severe morphogenetic abnormalities were observed in plumbagin treated resultant
insects, at various concentrations (Table 1). The degree of
effectiveness was varying with the concentration. There is 76.6% of mortality
was observed at 100 mg mL-1 concentration of plumbagin and 63.3,
41.6 and 30% of mortality was occurred at 75, 35 and 25 mg mL-1.
The fourth instar larva which is undergone the treatment of 50 mg mL-1
of plumbagin was ecdyses into fifth instar. But the larvae could not able to
moult completely. It was partially entangled in the larval exuvium. At the concentration
of 75 and 100 mg mL-1, the treated larvae could not ecdyses and the
malformed larvae were shorter in length and crumpled. Such larvae were inactive
and their life cycle was terminated (Fig. 1). The mode of
action of plumbagin is being a chitin synthesis inhibitor, affects the mechanical
properties of the insect cuticle and produces abnormalities in the skin and
resists moulting. Inhibition of moulting results in increase of the internal
body pressure in the larvae. Due to plumbagin activity insect cuticle often
becomes stiff (Fox, 1990). Consequently feeding is often
hampered, the starved larvae were reduced in body size. Mondal
(1984) and Rahman (1992) reported to avoid feeding
on the treated medium Tribolium species and as a result adults lose weight
and length. Kuwano et al. (2008) suggested that
this malformation may be due to the persistence of juvenile hormone in the haemolymph
where it is only in the absence of juvenile hormone that ecdysone could be activated
and lead to the formation of the next stage. Gujar and
Mehorotra (1998) reported that plumbagin might be acting on the neuro endocrine
system thereby it halts the moulting process.
Larval-pupal intermediate stages were also observed in the fifth instar larvae
treated with 100, 35 and 25 mg mL-1 concentrations of plumbagin.
Pupal case was formed normally but exhibited serious disturbances during pupal
formation. The larva has failed to complete its development and they were unable
to emerge into normal pupa.
||Molting deformities in Ivth instar larvae of Pericallia
ricini treated with Plumbagin (Topical treatment) (a) Control, (b) 50,
(c) 75 and (d) 100 mg
|| Percent larval mortality of P. ricini after the topical
application of Plumbagin
||Effect of Plumbagin (topical application) on pupae of
Pericallia ricini (a) Control, (b) 50, (c) 35 and (d) 25 mg mL-1
||Effect of Plumbagin (Topical application) on adult of Pericallia
ricini (a) Control, (b) 10 and (c) 20 mg mL-1
The larva died within the pupal case. Imperfect metamorphosis was observed
(Fig. 2). Abdel Fattah A. Khalaf et
al. (2009) observed that larval-pupal intermediates in the larvae of
Synthesiomyia nudiseta treated with botanical volatile oils. This may
be due to an imbalance in the hormone titers at critical times of moulting.
This view was supported by Retnakaran et al. (1985).
Similar observation was reported by Martinez and Van Embden
(2001) in Spodoptera littoralis [Boisduval] treated with azadirachtin.
Gandhi et al. (2010) reported that the extracts
of plants like Annona squamosa [L.], Lantana camara, Cleodendrum
inerme, Cassia fistula, Azadirachta indica and Calotrophis
procera interfere with moulting process.
At lower concentrations [10 and 20 mg mL-1] the larvae pupated normally
and developed into apparently normal adults. But these adults had deformed wings
and it was wrinkled. The front legs and antennae were not observed. The size
of adult moth was smaller compared with control and also these moths were died
within a few hours after moulting (Fig. 3). Application of
lower concentrations resulted in the formation of adults that survived only
for a few hours and therefore were not able to mate or oviposite. Similar observations
were noticed with other IGRs reported by Koul et al.
(1987). Increase in the dosage of plumbagin resulted in an interference
in ecdysis and the formation of deformed larvae. These larvae were arrested
from further development and reproduction. The present study suggests that topical
application of plumbagin prevented normal development and metamorphosis of P.
ricini which was manifested at different stages of the life cycle. It disturbs
the endocrine mechanisms especially it affects the concentration of the hormone
secretion from corpus allatum and prothoracic gland thereby it forms abnormal
larvae and non-viable adults. Hence, plumbagin shows effective Insect Growth
Regulative activity and exhibits great promise in suppressing field populations
of P. ricini.
We are thankful to the University Grants Commission (New Delhi) for providing grants in the form of Major Research Project for this research.
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