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Exploring the Insecticidal Potential of Boldo (Peumus boldus) Essential Oil: Toxicity to Pests and Vectors and Non-target Impact on the Microcrustacean Daphnia magna

1
Crop Research Institute, Drnovska 507, 161 06 Prague, Czech Republic
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Department of Plant Protection, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamycka 129, 165 00 Praha 6-Suchdol, Czech Republic
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Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Pisa, via del Borghetto 80, 56124 Pisa, Italy
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School of Pharmacy, University of Camerino, Via S. Agostino 1, 62032 Camerino Italy
1
Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and Environment (DAFNAE), Agripolis Campus, University of Padova, 35020 Legnaro, Italy
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Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, University of Padova, Via Marzolo, 35121 Padova, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Molecules 2019, 24(5), 879; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24050879
Received: 11 February 2019 / Revised: 22 February 2019 / Accepted: 24 February 2019 / Published: 1 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products as Effective Biopesticides and Antiprotozoal Agents)
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Abstract

Every year Chile exports about 2000 tons of boldo folium (Peumus boldus), which is used around the world as a traditional herbal medicinal product (THMP), mostly to relieve gastrointestinal disorders. This biomass may be a resource for the agrochemical industry to manufacture botanical insecticides. In this regard, the insecticidal potential of boldo has been poorly investigated. In the present work, hydrodistillation of a commercial boldo folium gave 1.5% (w/w) of a yellowish essential oil (boldo essential oil, BEO) containing 1,8-cineole (20.7%), p-cymene (18.5%), limonene (9.1%), ascaridole (9.1%) and β-phellandrene (6.4%) as the main constituents, as determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). NMR analysis allowed us to determine that ascaridole was mainly represented by the cis-isomer. BEO was toxic to larvae of the filariasis vector Culex quinquefasciatus and adults of the housefly Musca domestica, showing LC50/LD50 values of 67.9 mg·L−1 and 98.5 µg·adult−1, respectively. On the other hand, lower insecticidal activity was observed against larvae of the moth pest Spodoptera littoralis (LD50 of 268.9 µg·larva−1). It is worth noting that, when tested at LC90 concentration, BEO was significantly less toxic to aquatic microcrustacean Daphnia magna than the conventional insecticide α-cypermethrin. Finally, in the attempt to explore the BEO mode of action, we tested it for acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitory properties using the Ellman method, obtaining negligible effects (IC50 = 0.45 mg·mL−1). Taken together, these results gave new insights into the potential of BEO as a future ingredient of botanical insecticides. View Full-Text
Keywords: aquatic ecotoxicology; Culex quinquefasciatus; ascaridole; insecticide; Musca domestica aquatic ecotoxicology; Culex quinquefasciatus; ascaridole; insecticide; Musca domestica
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Pavela, R.; Benelli, G.; Petrelli, R.; Cappellacci, L.; Lupidi, G.; Sut, S.; Dall’Acqua, S.; Maggi, F. Exploring the Insecticidal Potential of Boldo (Peumus boldus) Essential Oil: Toxicity to Pests and Vectors and Non-target Impact on the Microcrustacean Daphnia magna. Molecules 2019, 24, 879.

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