Essential oils and their bioactive compounds as eco-friendly novel green pesticides for management of storage insect pests: prospects and retrospects

Abstract

The control of storage insect pests is largely based on synthetic pesticides. However, due to fast growing resistance in the targeted insects, negative impact on humans and non-target organisms as well as the environment, there is an urgent need to search some safer alternatives of these xenobiotics. Many essential oils (EOs) and their bioactive compounds have received particular attention for application as botanical pesticides, since they exhibited high insecticidal efficacy, diverse mode of action, and favourable safety profiles on mammalian system as well as to the non-target organisms. Data collected from scientific articles show that these EOs and their bioactive compounds exhibited insecticidal activity via fumigant, contact, repellent, antifeedant, ovicidal, oviposition deterrent and larvicidal activity, and by inhibiting/altering important neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine esterase (AChE) and octopamine or neurotransmitter inhibitor γ-amino butyric acid (GABA), as well as by altering the enzymatic [superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), peroxidases (POx), glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and glutathione reductase (GR)] and non-enzymatic [glutathione (GSH)] antioxidant defence systems. However, in spite of promising pesticidal efficacy against storage pests, the practical application of EOs and their bioactive compounds in real food systems remain rather limited because of their high volatility, poor water solubility and susceptibility towards degradation. Nanoencapsulation/nanoemulsion of EOs is currently considered as a promising tool that improved water solubility, enhanced bio-efficacy, stability and controlled release, thereby expanding their applicability.

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Fig. 1

Data availability

All data observed during current study are included in this article.

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Funding

This study was supported by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) [grant number: 09/013 (0678)/2017-EMR-I], New Delhi, India.

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Anand Kumar Chaudhari: conceptualization, writing–original review draft, funding acquisition; Vipin Kumar Singh: review and editing; Akash Kedia: review and editing, formal analysis; Somenath Das: visualization; data curation; Nawal Kishore Dubey: writing–review and editing, supervision. All authors have reviewed and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Nawal Kishore Dubey.

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Chaudhari, A.K., Singh, V.K., Kedia, A. et al. Essential oils and their bioactive compounds as eco-friendly novel green pesticides for management of storage insect pests: prospects and retrospects. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-12841-w

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Keywords

  • Essential oils
  • Bioactive compounds
  • Storage pests
  • Synthetic pesticides
  • Mechanism of action
  • Nanoencapsulation