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Plants in the Genus Tephrosia: Valuable Resources for Botanical Insecticides

A Key Laboratory of Natural Pesticide and Chemical Biology, Ministry of Education, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China
Department of Environmental Horticulture and Mid-Florida Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Apopka, FL 32703, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2020, 11(10), 721;
Received: 1 October 2020 / Revised: 16 October 2020 / Accepted: 19 October 2020 / Published: 21 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Substances against Insect Pests: Assets and Liabilities)
There is an increasing interest in botanical insecticides worldwide. Plants from the genus Tephrosia are rich in bioactive phytochemicals, particularly rotenoids which include rotenone, deguelin, rotenolone, and tephrosin. Rotenoids have strong insecticidal activities against a wider range of pests. However, there has been no treatise thus far focusing on Tephrosia as insecticidal plants. This article is intended to review phytochemicals produced by selected species, their insecticidal activities, and the current status on the use of Tephrosia as botanical insecticidal plants for insect pest control.
Synthetic insecticides are effective in controlling insect pests but can also harm nontarget organisms and the environment. During the last 40 years, there has been an increasing interest in alternative insecticides, particularly those derived from plants, commonly known as botanical insecticides. However, commercially available botanical insecticides remain limited. Rotenone is one of the earliest identified compounds and was used as fish poison and pest management. Due to its link with Parkinson disease, the use of rotenone was banned in many developed countries. Rotenone used to be isolated from Derris spp. and Lonchocarpus spp., and it can also be isolated from Tephrosia species. In this article, we present basic botanical information on selected Tephrosia species and their major compounds related to insecticidal activities and highlight the current use of extracts derived from some species, Tephrosia vogelii in particular, for control of insect pests in stored grains and crop production. The crude extracts contain multiple bioactive compounds, mainly rotenone, deguelin, rotenolone, and tephrosin, which act in either additive or synergistic fashion, resulting in effective control of insect pests. There are about 400 species in the genus Tephrosia, and species and even strains or variants vary greatly in these active compounds. We argue that a systematic evaluation of bioactive compounds in different species are needed, and species or strains with high insecticidal activities should be selected for use in the sustainable control of insect pests. View Full-Text
Keywords: botanical pesticides; deguelin; insects; rotenolone; rotenone; tephrosin; Tephrosia vogelii botanical pesticides; deguelin; insects; rotenolone; rotenone; tephrosin; Tephrosia vogelii
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, P.; Qin, D.; Chen, J.; Zhang, Z. Plants in the Genus Tephrosia: Valuable Resources for Botanical Insecticides. Insects 2020, 11, 721.

AMA Style

Zhang P, Qin D, Chen J, Zhang Z. Plants in the Genus Tephrosia: Valuable Resources for Botanical Insecticides. Insects. 2020; 11(10):721.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zhang, Peiwen, Deqiang Qin, Jianjun Chen, and Zhixiang Zhang. 2020. "Plants in the Genus Tephrosia: Valuable Resources for Botanical Insecticides" Insects 11, no. 10: 721.

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