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Article

Plumbagin, a Potent Naphthoquinone from Nepenthes Plants with Growth Inhibiting and Larvicidal Activities

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Research Group Plant Defense Physiology, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, 07745 Jena, Germany
2
Research Group Biosynthesis/NMR, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, 07745 Jena, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Giovanni Benelli
Molecules 2021, 26(4), 825; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26040825
Received: 30 December 2020 / Revised: 29 January 2021 / Accepted: 1 February 2021 / Published: 5 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insecticide, Acaricide, Repellent and Antimicrobial Development)
Some plant species are less susceptible to herbivore infestation than others. The reason for this is often unknown in detail but is very likely due to an efficient composition of secondary plant metabolites. Strikingly, carnivorous plants of the genus Nepenthes show extremely less herbivory both in the field and in green house. In order to identify the basis for the efficient defense against herbivorous insects in Nepenthes, we performed bioassays using larvae of the generalist lepidopteran herbivore, Spodoptera littoralis. Larvae fed with different tissues from Nepenthes x ventrata grew significantly less when feeding on a diet containing leaf tissue compared with pitcher-trap tissue. As dominating metabolite in Nepenthes tissues, we identified a naphthoquinone, plumbagin (5-hydroxy-2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone). When plumbagin was added at different concentrations to the diet of S. littoralis larvae, an EC50 value for larval growth inhibition was determined with 226.5 µg g−1 diet. To further determine the concentration causing higher larval mortality, sweet potato leaf discs were covered with increasing plumbagin concentrations in no-choice-assays; a higher mortality of the larvae was found beyond 60 µg plumbagin per leaf, corresponding to 750 µg g−1. Plant-derived insecticides have long been proposed as alternatives for pest management; plumbagin and derivatives might be such promising environmentally friendly candidates. View Full-Text
Keywords: naphthoquinones; plumbagin; Spodoptera littoralis; insect growth inhibition; carnivorous plants; Nepenthes naphthoquinones; plumbagin; Spodoptera littoralis; insect growth inhibition; carnivorous plants; Nepenthes
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rahman-Soad, A.; Dávila-Lara, A.; Paetz, C.; Mithöfer, A. Plumbagin, a Potent Naphthoquinone from Nepenthes Plants with Growth Inhibiting and Larvicidal Activities. Molecules 2021, 26, 825. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26040825

AMA Style

Rahman-Soad A, Dávila-Lara A, Paetz C, Mithöfer A. Plumbagin, a Potent Naphthoquinone from Nepenthes Plants with Growth Inhibiting and Larvicidal Activities. Molecules. 2021; 26(4):825. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26040825

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rahman-Soad, Asifur, Alberto Dávila-Lara, Christian Paetz, and Axel Mithöfer. 2021. "Plumbagin, a Potent Naphthoquinone from Nepenthes Plants with Growth Inhibiting and Larvicidal Activities" Molecules 26, no. 4: 825. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26040825

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