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Open AccessArticle

Lethality of Sesquiterpenes Reprogramming Red Palm Weevil Detoxification Mechanism for Natural Novel Biopesticide Development

1
Laboratory of Bio-Control and Molecular Biology, Department of Arid Land Agriculture, College of Agricultural and Food Sciences, King Faisal University, Hofuf 31982, Saudi Arabia
2
National Agriculture Technology Center, Life Science & Environment Research Institute, King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology, P.O. Box 6086, Riyadh 11442, Saudi Arabia
3
Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Riyadh 11442, Saudi Arabia
4
RPW Consultant, United Nations, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Riyadh 11442, Saudi Arabia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Molecules 2019, 24(9), 1648; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24091648
Received: 1 April 2019 / Revised: 22 April 2019 / Accepted: 25 April 2019 / Published: 26 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products as Effective Biopesticides and Antiprotozoal Agents)
Natural biopesticide development for invasive populations of red palm weevils is mainly responsible for the destruction of date palms and demands an extensive screening program of plant secondary metabolites. In the current study, the pesticidal potential of sesquiterpenes (C15 H24), an important class of plant secondary metabolites primarily composed of three isoprene units, was evaluated by laboratory toxicity, feeding performance bioassays, and host detoxification gene expression patterns. Dose-mortality response bioassays performed against mid-aged eighth-instar red palm weevil larvae revealed dose-dependent mortality. Only three sesquiterpenes, including Farnesol (LD50 = 6559 ppm) and Farnesyl acetate (LD50 = 7867 ppm), are considered to have significant toxicity, with Picrotoxin (LD50 = 317 ppm) being the most toxic. Furthermore, highly toxic sesquiterpene (Picrotoxin) established in the current study tremendously reduced the feeding performance indices, including the efficacy of conversion of digested food (ECD) (81.74%) and the efficacy of conversion of ingested food (ECI) (73.62%). The least toxic sesquiterpenes, including β-Caryophyllene, (+)-Cedrol, Nerolidol, (+)-Nootkatone, and Parthenolide, observed in the current study failed to impart significant reductions of ECI and ECD indices. Lethality of the least toxic sesquiterpenes was overcome by greatly inducing gene expressions of Glutathione S transferase (GST) and Cytochrome P450. These encouraging results enabled us to suggest Picrotoxin as a promising biopesticide for the control of red palm weevil infestations. View Full-Text
Keywords: sesquiterpenes; plant secondary metabolites; Rhynchophorus ferrugineus; biopesticides; natural products; host defense; detoxification mechanism sesquiterpenes; plant secondary metabolites; Rhynchophorus ferrugineus; biopesticides; natural products; host defense; detoxification mechanism
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Hussain, A.; Rizwan-ul-haq, M.; AlJabr, A.M.; Al-Ayedh, H. Lethality of Sesquiterpenes Reprogramming Red Palm Weevil Detoxification Mechanism for Natural Novel Biopesticide Development. Molecules 2019, 24, 1648.

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