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Open AccessArticle

Phytochemical Analysis of Tephrosia vogelii across East Africa Reveals Three Chemotypes that Influence Its Use as a Pesticidal Plant

1
Department of Sustainable Agriculture, Biodiversity and Ecosystems Management, Centre for Research, Agricultural Advancement, Teaching Excellence and Sustainability (CREATES), The Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 447 Arusha, Tanzania
2
Bunda College, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources-Malawi, P.O. Box 219 Lilongwe, Malawi
3
Innovations in Development, Education and The Mathematical Sciences (IDEMS) International, 15 Warwick Road, Reading, RG2 7AX, UK
4
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3DS, UK
5
Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
6
Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, Central Avenue, Chatham Maritime, Kent ME4 4TB, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plants 2019, 8(12), 597; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120597
Received: 27 November 2019 / Revised: 7 December 2019 / Accepted: 10 December 2019 / Published: 12 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticidal Plants: From Smallholder Use to Commercialisation)
Tephrosia vogelii is a plant species chemically characterized by the presence of entomotoxic rotenoids and used widely across Africa as a botanical pesticide. Phytochemical analysis was conducted to establish the presence and abundance of the bioactive principles in this species across three countries in East Africa: Tanzania, Kenya, and Malawi. Analysis of methanolic extracts of foliar parts of T. vogelii revealed the occurrence of two distinct chemotypes that were separated by the presence of rotenoids in one, and flavanones and flavones that are not bioactive against insects on the other. Specifically, chemotype 1 contained deguelin as the major rotenoid along with tephrosin, and rotenone as a minor component, while these compounds were absent from chemotype 2, which contained previously reported flavanones and flavones including obovatin-3-O-methylether. Chemotype 3 contained a combination of the chemical profiles of both chemotype 1 and 2 suggesting a chemical hybrid. Plant samples identified as chemotype 1 showed chemical consistency across seasons and altitudes, except in the wet season where a significant difference was observed for samples in Tanzania. Since farmers are unable to determine the chemical content of material available care must be taken in promoting this species for pest management without first establishing efficacy. While phytochemical analysis serves as an important tool for quality control of pesticidal plants, where analytical facilities are not available simple bioassays could be developed to enable extension staff and farmers to determine the efficacy of their plants and ensure only effective materials are adopted. View Full-Text
Keywords: spatial-temporal variation; chemotype 3; deguelin; rotenoids; botanical insecticides spatial-temporal variation; chemotype 3; deguelin; rotenoids; botanical insecticides
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mkindi, A.G.; Tembo, Y.; Mbega, E.R.; Medvecky, B.; Kendal-Smith, A.; Farrell, I.W.; Ndakidemi, P.A.; Belmain, S.R.; Stevenson, P.C. Phytochemical Analysis of Tephrosia vogelii across East Africa Reveals Three Chemotypes that Influence Its Use as a Pesticidal Plant. Plants 2019, 8, 597.

AMA Style

Mkindi AG, Tembo Y, Mbega ER, Medvecky B, Kendal-Smith A, Farrell IW, Ndakidemi PA, Belmain SR, Stevenson PC. Phytochemical Analysis of Tephrosia vogelii across East Africa Reveals Three Chemotypes that Influence Its Use as a Pesticidal Plant. Plants. 2019; 8(12):597.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mkindi, Angela G.; Tembo, Yolice; Mbega, Ernest R.; Medvecky, Beth; Kendal-Smith, Amy; Farrell, Iain W.; Ndakidemi, Patrick A.; Belmain, Steven R.; Stevenson, Philip C. 2019. "Phytochemical Analysis of Tephrosia vogelii across East Africa Reveals Three Chemotypes that Influence Its Use as a Pesticidal Plant" Plants 8, no. 12: 597.

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