Recent Advances in Plant Extracts and Essential Oils as Potential Alternative Biocontrol Products

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472). This special issue belongs to the section "Crop Protection, Diseases, Pests and Weeds".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 July 2023) | Viewed by 7703

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Departamento de Entomologia, Universidade Federal de Lavras, Lavras 37200-000, MG, Brazil
Interests: ecotoxicology; insect molecular biology; insecticides resistance; botanicals; IPM

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Departamento de Entomologia, Universidade Federal de Lavras, Lavras 37200-000, MG, Brazil
Interests: selectivity; IPM; biological control; natural insecticides
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The indiscriminate use of synthetic chemical pesticides is frequently associated with environmental and toxicological problems, resulting in an increased interest and enormous research efforts focused on new environmentally benign solutions. In this context, botanicals and plant-derived pesticides, such as essential oils, have been advocated for as sustainable alternatives in pest management strategies. Such perceived advantages are attributed to their low environmental and mammalian risk, higher specificity and safety to non-target organisms and lower risk of resistance development. However, despite their proven biological activities and the overwhelming research efforts, the large-scale commercialization and use of plant-based pesticides is still lacking. Besides raw material availability, price and legislation barriers, rapid degradation under field conditions and the need for frequent reapplications are often cited as the major limitations to the field performance of botanical insecticides in terms of both efficacy and persistence.

This Special Issue aims to present recent advances in research on botanical pesticides, including the identification and chemical characterization of pesticidal plants and their active molecules, evaluation of their bioactivities against pests and disease vectors, selectivity to non-target organisms, molecular and physiological mechanisms of action as well as nanotechnology-based new solutions for botanicals’ application in integrated pest management.

Prof. Dr. Khalid Haddi
Prof. Dr. Geraldo Andrade Carvalho
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • botanical pesticides
  • essential oils
  • plant extracts
  • integrated pest management
  • bioactivity
  • lethal and sublethal effects
  • selectivity
  • molecular mechanism of action
  • nano-biopesticides

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

13 pages, 685 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Antiphytoviral and Antibacterial Activity of Essential Oil and Hydrosol Extracts from Five Veronica Species
by Marija Nazlić, Valerija Dunkić, Mia Dželalija, Ana Maravić, Mihaela Mandić, Siniša Srečec, Ivana Vrca, Elma Vuko and Dario Kremer
Agriculture 2023, 13(8), 1517; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13081517 - 29 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1042
Abstract
Agricultural production without pollution is possible using bioactive plant compounds, which include essential oils as important substances of plant origin. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antiphytoviral and antibacterial potentials of lipid (essential oil, EO) and water (hydrosol, HY) extracts [...] Read more.
Agricultural production without pollution is possible using bioactive plant compounds, which include essential oils as important substances of plant origin. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antiphytoviral and antibacterial potentials of lipid (essential oil, EO) and water (hydrosol, HY) extracts from five Veronica species (Plantaginaceae) obtained by Clevenger hydrodistillation (HD) and microwave-assisted extraction (MAE), with analysis by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. The antiphytoviral activities of both extracts were tested on local host plants infected with tobacco mosaic virus (TMV). The antibacterial potential was tested against ten strains of opportunistic pathogens using the broth microdilution test. Species V. chamaedrys EO-MAE extract, V. arvensis EO from both extractions and V. montana, V. serpyllifolia, and V. persica EO-HD extracts were more effective in inhibiting TMV infection. Furthermore, HY- HD extracts of V. arvensis, V. chamaedrys and V. persica showed significant antiphytoviral activity. HY fractions had no effect on bacterial growth, regardless of the Veronica species tested, likely due to the fact that the maximum concentrations of the HY fractions tested in this study were low (1.83 and 2.91 mg/mL). EOs showed significant antibacterial activity independent of the extraction method. Notably, V. chamaedrys EO-MAE fraction, showed significantly better activity against Listeria monocytogenes and Enterococcus faecalis. Also, the EO-HD fraction of V. arvensis showed slightly better antibacterial activity. By combining extracts and using different extraction methods, valuable bioproducts can be obtained from the investigated Veronica species for safe use in agricultural production and food conservation. Full article
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17 pages, 2290 KiB  
Article
Biochemical and Physiological Responses of Cucumis sativus L. to Application of Potential Bioinsecticides—Aqueous Carum carvi L. Seed Distillation By-Product Based Extracts
by Ieva Mežaka, Arta Kronberga, Marta Berga, Laura Kaļāne, Laura Pastare, Gundars Skudriņš and Ilva Nakurte
Agriculture 2023, 13(5), 1019; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13051019 - 7 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1530
Abstract
The extensive application of synthetic insecticides and herbicides over the past 50 years has led to a number of problems, including negative effects on non-target organisms and the evolution of pesticide-resistant pests. As an alternative means of pest control, plant-based biopesticides have emerged. [...] Read more.
The extensive application of synthetic insecticides and herbicides over the past 50 years has led to a number of problems, including negative effects on non-target organisms and the evolution of pesticide-resistant pests. As an alternative means of pest control, plant-based biopesticides have emerged. While developing a new bioinsecticide, allelopathy on both target pests and target crops must be evaluated. We evaluated volatile organic compounds (VOCs), total phenolic content (TPC), total sugars and antiradical activity (ARA), as well as 18 photosynthetic apparatus characterizing functional parameters as stress signaling response to aqueous caraway seed distillation by-product-based extracts. VOCs were detected by headspace gas chromatography mass spectrometry (HS-GC-MS). The caraway extract application decreased “green leaf volatile” C4, C5 and C6 alcohol content in the cucumber leaves. Total phenolic content (TPC), total sugars and antiradical activity (ARA) using high-throughput 96-well plate spectrophotometric methods were tested in dried leaves. No significant changes in these parameters were detected in cucumber leaves after the application of extracts. The caraway extract application did not cause changes in the functioning of the photosynthesis apparatus. Aqueous caraway seed distillation by-product-based extracts can be considered non-phytotoxic to cucumber plants; however, they modify the VOC emissions even ten days after treatment. Full article
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22 pages, 3976 KiB  
Article
Duguetia lanceolata A. St.-Hil. (Annonaceae) Essential Oil: Toxicity against Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) and Selectivity for the Parasitoid Trichogramma pretiosum Riley (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae)
by Mayara Ketllyn de Paula Rosetti, Dejane Santos Alves, Isabela Caroline Luft, Katiane Pompermayer, Andressa Soares Scolari, Gabriela Trindade de Souza e Silva, Murilo Silva de Oliveira, Javier Andrés García Vanegas, Horácio Bambo Pacule, Geraldo Humberto Silva, Denilson Ferreira de Oliveira and Geraldo Andrade Carvalho
Agriculture 2023, 13(2), 488; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13020488 - 18 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1754
Abstract
The fall armyworm (FAW) Spodoptera frugiperda is a polyphagous pest that is difficult to control due to populations resistant to various active ingredients. Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate the toxicity of essential oils (EOs) from the organs of Annona [...] Read more.
The fall armyworm (FAW) Spodoptera frugiperda is a polyphagous pest that is difficult to control due to populations resistant to various active ingredients. Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate the toxicity of essential oils (EOs) from the organs of Annona neolaurifolia, Duguetia lanceolata, and Xylopia brasiliensis, against the FAW and its natural enemy, Trichogramma pretiosum. The most active EOs were those from the leaves and stem bark of D. lanceolata, which presented LD90 to S. frugiperda equal to 70.76 and 127.14 µg of EO/larvae, respectively. The major compounds in the EO of D. lanceolata (leaves) were β-caryophyllene and caryophyllene oxide. Although individually inactive against the FAW, when combined, those compounds reduced the insect’s probability of survival. However, the mortality was lower than that caused by EO. This result suggests that other components of EO contribute to the activity against FAW. Furthermore, the EO of the leaves from D. lanceolata presented low toxicity to the egg-larva stage of T. pretiosum, but was toxic to other phases. Thus, EO from D. lanceolata is potentially useful for developing new products to control S. frugiperda. Full article
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13 pages, 3323 KiB  
Article
Low Concentrations of Eucalyptus Essential Oil Induce Age, Sex, and Mating Status-Dependent Stimulatory Responses in Drosophila suzukii
by Maria Pineda, Emanuel Lucas de Andrade Alves, Julia Almeida Antunes, Vinícius de Castro Carvalho and Khalid Haddi
Agriculture 2023, 13(2), 404; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13020404 - 9 Feb 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2451
Abstract
Plant-extracted essential oils are generally suggested as potential sources for alternatives to synthetic insecticides in insect pest control strategies. The increased interest in the use of essential oils derives from the generalized perception of their safety for the environment, human health, and non-target [...] Read more.
Plant-extracted essential oils are generally suggested as potential sources for alternatives to synthetic insecticides in insect pest control strategies. The increased interest in the use of essential oils derives from the generalized perception of their safety for the environment, human health, and non-target organisms as well as a lower risk of resistance development. However, studies on essential oils have largely focused on their activity on targeted insect pests while overlooking their potential unintended effects on insect biological and reproductive traits, especially with sublethal exposures. Here, we first determined the toxicity of Eucalyptus globulus essential oil to adults of Drosophila suzukii and assessed the effects of low concentrations (i.e., LC5 and LC20) in old (5–7 days) and mated flies. Subsequently, we assessed longevity and fecundity in newly emerged virgin flies from four couples’ combinations: unexposed couples, exposed females, exposed males, and exposed couples to the low concentration LC20. Our results show that eucalyptus essential oil has good insecticidal activity against adults of D. suzukii. However, compared to untreated flies, the exposure to low concentrations enhanced the females’ fecundity only when both old and mated female and male flies were exposed, while the females’ but not males’ life span was extended only in couples where newly emerged virgin females were exposed. Our findings suggest that although the eucalyptus essential oil may be a good control alternative for adult D. suzukii, its age-, sex-, and mating status-dependent stimulatory responses mediated by exposure to low concentrations need to be considered and further investigated. Full article
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