Novel use of natural compounds for controlling insect pests

Natural compounds from plants that exhibit insecticidal activity on important disease-carrying insect vectors.

The Need

Most current insecticides are organophosphate, carbamate, organochlorine, or pyrethroid insecticides; however, many insect pests have become resistant to these conventional insecticides. Natural compounds represent a diverse, replenishable, and environmentally friendly source for the development of 'green' insecticides used to control agricultural and veterinary pests.

The Technology

Researchers at The Ohio State University, led by Drs. Peter Piermarini and Liva Rakotondraibe have isolated a series of natural compounds from a Madagascar plant family that demonstrate potent insecticidal activity against mosquitoes. The compound (OSU-1) killed or impaired the flight of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes within 24 hours in a dose-dependent manner, was able to penetrate mosquito cuticles, and has the potential to be formulated for an insecticidal spray. OSU-1 has shown similar efficacy against pyrethroid-resistant Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Current work is underway to determine the mode of action of OSU-1 against mosquitoes and other insect pests.

Commercial Applications

  • Biopesticides
  • Agrochemicals
  • Natural Products

Benefits/ Advantages

  • The plant family from which OSU-1 is isolated is often consumed as an herbal tea for traditional medicinal purposes in Madagascar and it is therefore expected that OSU-1 will have low toxicity against humans and vertebrates.
  • Provides another tool for combating insect pests that have become resistant to conventional insecticides.

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