Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 11, pp 10407–10417 | Cite as

Insecticidal effect and impact of fitness of three diatomaceous earths on different maize hybrids for the eco-friendly control of the invasive stored-product pest Prostephanus truncatus (Horn)

  • Nickolas G. Kavallieratos
  • Christos G. Athanassiou
  • Gerassimos G. Peteinatos
  • Maria C. Boukouvala
  • Giovanni Benelli
Plant-borne compounds and nanoparticles: challenges for medicine, parasitology and entomology


Diatomaceous earths (DEs) are able to successfully protect grain commodities from noxious stored-product insect and mite infestations; however, their effectiveness may be moderated by the grain hybrid or variety they are applied to. There is a gap of information on the comparison of the efficacy of different DEs when are applied on different maize hybrids against Prostephanus truncatus (Horn). Therefore, here we tested three commercially available DEs (DEA-P at 75 and 150 ppm, Protect-It at 500 ppm, and PyriSec at 500 ppm) on five different maize hybrids (Calaria, Doxa, Rio Grande, Sisco, and Studio) for the control of P. truncatus adults in terms of mortality (at 7 and 14 days), progeny production, properties of the infested maize hybrids (number and weight of kernels with or without holes, number of holes per kernel) and the adherence level of the tested DEs to the kernels. DEA-P was very effective at 75 ppm while a considerable proportion of the exposed P. truncatus adults was still alive after 14 days of exposure on all maize hybrids treated with 500 ppm of Protect-It or PyriSec, even though it was 3.3 times higher than the maximal application tested dose of DEA-P. Apart from parental mortality, DEA-P was able to reduce P. truncatus progeny production in all hybrids contrary to Protect-It or PyriSec. The adherence ratios were always higher for DEA-P than Protect-It or PyriSec to all maize hybrids. The highest numbers of kernels (or weight of kernels) without holes were noticed after their treatment with DEA-P. Doxa and Sisco performed better than Calaria, Rio Grande, or Studio based on the differences found concerning the numbers of kernels without holes at treatments with DEA-P and Protect-It. Overall, the findings of our study indicate the high potentiality of DEA-P as protectant of different maize hybrids to P. truncatus infestations at low doses, a fact that could help the eco-friendly management of this noxious species in the stored-product environment.


Biosafety Grain protectants Progeny production Stored maize Hybrids 



This work was partially supported by the project “Control of stored products insects” (Hellenic Ministry of Rural Development and Food, Directorate of Plant Protection).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nickolas G. Kavallieratos
    • 1
    • 2
  • Christos G. Athanassiou
    • 1
    • 3
  • Gerassimos G. Peteinatos
    • 1
  • Maria C. Boukouvala
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Giovanni Benelli
    • 5
  1. 1.Laboratory of Agricultural Zoology and Entomology, Department of Crop ScienceAgricultural University of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.Laboratory of Agricultural Entomology, Department of Entomology and Agricultural ZoologyBenaki Phytopathological InstituteKifissiaGreece
  3. 3.Laboratory of Entomology and Agricultural Zoology, Department of Agriculture Crop Production and Rural EnvironmentUniversity of ThessalyNea IoniaGreece
  4. 4.Laboratory of Organic Chemistry, Department of ChemistryUniversity of IoanninaIoanninaGreece
  5. 5.Department of Agriculture, Food and EnvironmentUniversity of PisaPisaItaly

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