The Protein Journal

, Volume 31, Issue 6, pp 439–446 | Cite as

Receptors of Garlic (Allium sativum) Lectins and Their Role in Insecticidal Action



Garlic (Allium sativum) lectins are promising candidate molecules for the protection against chewing (lepidopteran) as well as sap sucking (homopteran) insect pests. Molecular mechanism of toxicity and interaction of lectins with midgut receptor proteins has been described in many reports. Lectins show its effect right from sensory receptors of mouth parts by disrupting the membrane integrity and food detection ability. Subsequently, enter into the gut lumen and interact with midgut glycosylated proteins like alkaline phosphatase (ALP), aminopeptidase-N (APN), cadherin-like proteins, polycalins, sucrase, symbionin and others. These proteins play critical role in life cycle of insect directly or indirectly. Lectins interfere with the activity of these proteins and causes physiological disorders leading to the death of insects. Lectins further transported across the insect gut, accumulated in various body parts (like haemolymph and ovary) and interact with intracellular proteins like symbionin and cytochrome p450. Binding with cytochrome p450 (which involve in ecdysone synthesis) might interfere in the development of insects, which results in growth retardation and pre-mature death.


Garlic lectins Glycosylated Homopteran Insect Lepidopteran 



Alkaline Phosphatase




Allium sativum agglutinin


Allium sativum leaf agglutinin


Galanthus nivalis agglutinin


Brush border membrane vesicles



Authors are grateful to the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Government of India for funding the research. SKU is thankful to CSIR for senior research fellowship and G B Technical University, Lucknow, UP, India for Ph.D. registration.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CSIR-National Botanical Research InstituteCouncil of Scientific and Industrial ResearchLucknowIndia

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