Biopotency of partially purified protease inhibitor from peas on the larval growth, development and enzyme system of Bactrocera cucurbitae (Diptera: Tephritidae)

  • Amrit Pal Kaur
  • Satwinder K. SohalEmail author
Research Paper


Plant protease inhibitors (PI) constitute a major class of defence proteins being selected as an important strategy towards insect herbivory. With the objective of assessing the effect of PI towards larval growth and development, an artificial diet bioassay using partially purified PI obtained from peas was performed on the melon fruit fly Bactrocera cucurbitae (Coquillett). Larval growth and developmental parameters were assessed at different concentrations (namely 12.5, 25, 50,100, 200 and 400 μg/ml) on the second-instar larvae of B. cucurbitae. Growth and survival responses determined the antiinsect potential of this PI even in its partially purified state. Larval and total development periods were found to be significantly prolonged for the larvae fed on an artificial diet incorporated with pea PI when compared with those fed with a control diet. Furthermore, when compared with the effect of the control diet (no inhibitor), the partially purified pea PI in the diet reduced larval weight gain, mean larval growth rate and food assimilated with respect to the control of the second-instar larvae tested at the same range of concentrations. The relative effectiveness of pea PI on these parameters is in agreement with the results obtained for percentage of pupation and percentage of adult emergence, as these parameters were significantly affected by the increase in the PI concentration in the artificial diet. Feeding the second-instar larvae a diet containing a range of concentrations (50,100,200 and 400 μg/ml) of partially purified pea PI significantly reduced the activities of digestive enzymes (trypsin, chymotrypsin, elastase and leucine aminopeptidase) and significantly affected the activities of other non-digestive enzymes (esterase, acid and alkaline phosphatases, glutathione S-transferase, superoxide dismutase and catalase).

Key words

artificial diet bioassay Pisum sativum melon fruit fly Bactrocera cucurbitae digestive proteases detoxification enzymes trypsin 


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© ICIPE 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ZoologyGuru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsarIndia

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