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Open AccessArticle

The Cytotoxic Effect of Genistein, a Soybean Isoflavone, against Cultured Tribolium Cells

College of Agriculture, Ibaraki University, Ami, Ibaraki 300-0393, Japan
Insects 2020, 11(4), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11040241
Received: 28 February 2020 / Revised: 8 April 2020 / Accepted: 9 April 2020 / Published: 12 April 2020
The red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum is a known pest of various grains and stored-products such as wheat flours; however, T. castaneum feeds on and infests soybean and soy products. For more than 60 years, soy flour has been suggested to be unstable food for Tribolium spp. because it causes larval development failure. However, it remains unknown whether soy flour affects adult beetles. The objective of the present study was to examine the effects of soy flour and its related isoflavones against T. castaneum using an artificial dietary intake assay. Beetles were fed gypsum (a non-digestible compound) mixed with either water (control) or soy flour. Significantly fewer beetles survived after being fed the soy flour treatment. Although the soy isoflavone genistein, a defensive agent and secondary metabolite, decreased the T. castaneum adult survival, it required a long time to have a lethal effect. Therefore, the cytotoxic effects of soy flour, i.e., the rapid biological responses following isoflavone addition, were also examined using a cultured cell line derived from T. castaneum. Both genistin and genistein significantly affected the survival of the cultured cells, although genistein had a stronger lethal effect. This study demonstrated the toxicity of genistein found in soybean against T. castaneum cultured cells within 24 h period. Genistein may be used as an oral toxin biopesticide against T. castaneum. View Full-Text
Keywords: cultured cell; Tribolium castaneum; isoflavone; cell toxicity; Tc81 cells cultured cell; Tribolium castaneum; isoflavone; cell toxicity; Tc81 cells
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Kikuta, S. The Cytotoxic Effect of Genistein, a Soybean Isoflavone, against Cultured Tribolium Cells. Insects 2020, 11, 241.

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