Next Article in Journal
Characterization and Structure–Property Relationships of Organic–Inorganic Hybrid Composites Based on Aluminum–Magnesium Hydroxycarbonate and Azo Chromophore
Next Article in Special Issue
Lethality of Sesquiterpenes Reprogramming Red Palm Weevil Detoxification Mechanism for Natural Novel Biopesticide Development
Previous Article in Journal
Multiple Targets of 3-Dehydroxyceanothetric Acid 2-Methyl Ester to Protect Against Cisplatin-Induced Cytotoxicity in Kidney Epithelial LLC-PK1 Cells
Previous Article in Special Issue
Cholinergic Agonists and Antagonists Have an Effect on the Metabolism of the Beetle Tenebrio Molitor
Article Menu
Issue 5 (March-1) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

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

Crop Research Institute, Drnovska 507, 161 06 Prague, Czech Republic
Department of Plant Protection, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamycka 129, 165 00 Praha 6-Suchdol, Czech Republic
Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Pisa, via del Borghetto 80, 56124 Pisa, Italy
School of Pharmacy, University of Camerino, Via S. Agostino 1, 62032 Camerino Italy
Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and Environment (DAFNAE), Agripolis Campus, University of Padova, 35020 Legnaro, Italy
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;
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)
PDF [1213 KB, uploaded 1 March 2019]


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

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

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.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Molecules EISSN 1420-3049 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top