, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 145–152 | Cite as

The biochemical correlation between the epicuticular wax of upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) and the wax of different mealybug species

  • Nagarathinam Arunkumar
  • Jainullabudeen Gulsar Banu
  • Nagarajan Gopalakrishnan
  • Arkalgud Hiriyannaiah Prakash


The study aimed to find the possible differences, existing between the cuticular waxes of cotton and mealybug insects, using advanced analytical studies. The biochemical composition of the leaf wax of upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) and the cuticular wax of the different mealybug species, including Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley, Ferrisia virgata Cockerell, Paracoccus marginatus Williams and Granara de Willink, and Drosicha mangiferae Green were analyzed in detail by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS). The results clearly confirmed that the cotton wax is dominated by the six-carbon alkanes, while the mealybug wax is a mixture of both the five-carbon alkanes and the six-carbon alkanes. Apart from these differences, the common hydrocarbons such as hexadecane, icosane, and heneicosane, the uncommon hydrocarbons such as ethane, cyclobutanone, decane, and cyclododecane, the species-specific compounds of mealybugs such as myristyl alcohol, quinoline, hexacosane, and pentacosane were also identified and their retention times (RT) were listed out in detail. The outcome of this study will be useful to develop pest management techniques targeting the waxy cuticle of mealybugs without obstructing the normal physiology and growth of the cotton crop.


Cotton Mealybug wax Composition Correlation Identification GC-MS 



The Financial support to Dr. Arunkumar Nagarathinam in the form of SERB National Post-Doctoral Fellowship (Grant Number: PDF/2015/000844) from Science & Engineering Research Board (SERB), Department of Science and Technology, Government of India and institutional support by ICAR- Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR), Nagpur, Maharashtra, India is gratefully acknowledged.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ICAR - Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR)CoimbatoreIndia

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