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Mode of Action of Pyrethroid Insecticides

  • Joep van den Bercken
  • Henk P. M. Vijverberg
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 100)

Abstract

The natural pyrethrins, also called pyrethrum, which are contained in the flowers of Chrysantemum cinerariaefolium, have been known for their insecticidal activity for a very long time. They have, however, never been used on large scale, because they are susceptible to rapid degradation in the environment. Around 1950 several derivatives of the pyrethrins have been synthesized, e.g. allethrin, but these compounds had little advantage over the natural product. It was not until the late 60’s and early 70’s that notably Elliott and coworkers in England and Fujimoto and others in Japan succeeded in synthesizing new pyrethroids, which not only are more active than the natural pyrethrins, but also are more stable under field conditions. A dramatic enhancement of insecticidal activity of the pyrethroids was achieved by the incorporation of a cyano group on the α-C atom of the 3-phenoxybenzyl alcohol moiety, as for instance in deltamethrin and cypermethrin. In recent years numerous new pyrethroids have been developed, some of which seem only remotely related to the natural compounds. Most major chemical companies are now marketing these new insecticides and their practical application is rapidly increasing. Structural formulas of pyrethrin I, the most active constituent of pyrethrum, and of some important synthetic pyrethroids are depicted in Fig. 1.

Keywords

Sodium Channel Insecticidal Activity Nerve Impulse Tail Current Negative Temperature Coefficient 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joep van den Bercken
    • 1
  • Henk P. M. Vijverberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Veterinary Pharmacology, Pharmacy and ToxicologyUniversity of UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands

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