Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 31, pp 31718–31726 | Cite as

Baccharis dracunculifolia (Asteraceae) essential oil toxicity to Culex quinquefasciatus (Culicidae)

  • Kyvia F. Alves
  • Flávio H. Caetano
  • Israel J. Pereira Garcia
  • Hérica L. Santos
  • Denise B. Silva
  • João M. Siqueira
  • Aparecida S. Tanaka
  • Stênio N. AlvesEmail author
Research Article


The control of mosquitoes by means of chemical insecticides has been a problem, mainly due to the possibility of resistance developed by insects to xenobiotics. For this reason, demand for botanical insecticides has increased. In this sense, the present work aims to verify the susceptibility and morphological and biochemical alterations of Culex quinquefasciatus larvae after exposure to essential oil (EO) of leaves of Baccharis dracunculifolia. To observe the larvicidal action, larvae were exposed to EO at concentrations of 25, 50, 100, and 200 mg/L, until their emergence to adults. The control group was exposed to deionized water and dimethyl sulfoxide. Morphological analyses were also carried out using hematoxylin and eosin, mercury bromophenol blue, Nile blue, and periodic acid Schiff. Biochemical analyses of total glucose, triacylglyceride (TAG), protein, and acetylcholinesterase levels were performed. The phytochemical analysis of the EO showed (E)-nerolidol as the major compound (30.62%). Larvae susceptibility results showed a LC50 of 34.45 mg/L for EO. Morphological analysis showed that there were histological changes in midgut. For biochemical analyses, the glucose level in the larvae exposed to EO for 24 h decreased significantly, unlike the TAG levels, which increased. The total protein level of the larvae also increased after exposure for 24 h, and acetylcholinesterase levels decreased significantly. Taking all our data into account, we can conclude that EO causes destabilization in larva, leading to histological changes, metabolic deregulation and, consequently, their death.


Mosquito Midgut Digestive cells Biochemistry analyzed Acetylcholinesterase 



We thank Universidade Federal de São João Del-Rei (UFSJ) and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) for their fellowships.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kyvia F. Alves
    • 1
  • Flávio H. Caetano
    • 2
  • Israel J. Pereira Garcia
    • 1
  • Hérica L. Santos
    • 1
  • Denise B. Silva
    • 3
  • João M. Siqueira
    • 1
  • Aparecida S. Tanaka
    • 4
  • Stênio N. Alves
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Campus Centro-Oeste Dona LinduUniversidade Federal de São João del ReiDivinópolisBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de Biologia, Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita FilhoInstituto de Biociências de Rio ClaroRio ClaroBrazil
  3. 3.Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde, Universidade Federal do Mato Grosso do SulCidade Universitária – PioneirosCampo GrandeBrazil
  4. 4.Departamento de BioquímicaUnivesridade Federal de São PauloSão PauloBrazil

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