Assessment of the Insecticidal Potential of the Eupatorium buniifolium Essential Oil Against Triatoma infestans (Hemiptera: Reduviidae). A Chiral Recognition Approach
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In this research, bioactivities toward the Chagas’ disease vector Triatoma infestans (Klug) (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) by the essential oil (EO) of Eupatorium buniifolium H. et A. (Asteraceae) are reported. The tests were designed in order to determine ovicidal activity as well as the response to vapor exposure (fumigant) and to topical application (contact toxicity) and as repellent. In the last three bioassays, nymphs from the 3rd and 4th instar were used. The assayed materials were obtained from aerial parts of plants collected during the months of March and December, throughout 4 years, in two locations. The EO samples were subjected to a qualitative analysis by GC-MS and the relative area of each component was reported by GC-FID. The main monoterpene detected was α-pinene and by using a chiral column through GC-MS experiments and having both stereoisomers as standards, we were able to determine that the enantiomer present was S,S-(−)-α-pinene. Although usually in studies of EOs changes in chemical composition are often observed due to the time of collection and the environment where the plant develops, in our case the differences were, with some exception, only at the level of the minor components. The best results were obtained in the experiments to determine ovicidal activity, fumigant action, and repellency. No worthy response was found as insecticide in the trials designed for contact toxicity. The results of the studied bioactivities were independent of the location, month, and year of collection of the plant material. This behavior provides an interesting scope in relation to the potential use of this natural blend for the control of this insect at the nymph stage as repellent as well as for decreasing the population by ovicidal effect. Notably, in the course of the two-choice repellency test, it was possible to demonstrate recognition of one of the enantiomers of the α-pinene, giving rise to a non-common chirality/response effect. In this assay, the levorotatory isomer was the most active as repellent. Considering the abundance of the wild plant under study and the fact that its EO is easy to obtain, it is suggested that it could be an adequate natural resource to control this vector in a sustainable way as a complementary approach to conventional methods.
KeywordsOvicidal activity Repellent Chagas disease Plant extracts Plant metabolites Nonoterpene
This work is a part of the Ph D Thesis of ACG. Authors thanks to Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET-PIP 090), and Universidad Nacional de San Luis (Project PROICO 2-2516) for the financial support. Thanks are also due to Dr. Walter Stege for the NMR experiments, and to Prof. Cristina Devia for their contribution in the statistical analysis. Thanks are also due to Reference Vector Centre, National Service for Chagas Disease for the biological material. CET is a member of the Scientific Research Career of CONICET. We appreciate language revision of the manuscript by the staff from the Institute of Languages of Universidad Nacional de San Luis.
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