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Biosurfactants produced by Bacillus subtilis A1 and Pseudomonas stutzeri NA3 reduce longevity and fecundity of Anopheles stephensi and show high toxicity against young instars


Anopheles stephensi acts as vector of Plasmodium parasites, which are responsible for malaria in tropical and subtropical areas worldwide. Currently, malaria management is a big challenge due to the presence of insecticide-resistant strains as well as to the development of Plasmodium species highly resistant to major antimalarial drugs. Therefore, the present study focused on biosurfactant produced by two bacteria Bacillus subtilis A1 and Pseudomonas stutzeri NA3, evaluating them for insecticidal applications against malaria mosquitoes. The produced biosurfactants were characterized using FT-IR spectroscopy and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), which confirmed that biosurfactants had a lipopeptidic nature. Both biosurfactants were tested against larvae and pupae of A. stephensi. LC50 values were 3.58 (larva I), 4.92 (II), 5.73 (III), 7.10 (IV), and 7.99 (pupae) and 2.61 (I), 3.68 (II), 4.48 (III), 5.55 (IV), and 6.99 (pupa) for biosurfactants produced by B. subtilis A1 and P. stutzeri NA3, respectively. Treatments with bacterial surfactants led to various physiological changes including longer pupal duration, shorter adult oviposition period, and reduced longevity and fecundity. To the best of our knowledge, there are really limited reports on the mosquitocidal and physiological effects due to biosurfactant produced by bacterial strains. Overall, the toxic activity of these biosurfactant on all young instars of A. stephensi, as well as their major impact on adult longevity and fecundity, allows their further consideration for the development of insecticides in the fight against malaria mosquitoes.

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Two anonymous reviewers kindly improved an earlier version of our study. A. Rajasekar is thankful to the Department of Biotechnology (Government of India) for the award of the Ramalingaswami re-entry Fellowship (BT/RLF/Re-entry/17/2012), Department of Science and Technology for the young scientist award (SB/YS/LS-40/2013), University Grants Commission-MRP (MRP-MAJOR-MICRO-2013-31825), and Science and Engineering Research Board, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India (EEQ/2016/000449).

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Correspondence to Kadarkarai Murugan or Aruliah Rajasekar.

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Parthipan, P., Sarankumar, R.K., Jaganathan, A. et al. Biosurfactants produced by Bacillus subtilis A1 and Pseudomonas stutzeri NA3 reduce longevity and fecundity of Anopheles stephensi and show high toxicity against young instars. Environ Sci Pollut Res 25, 10471–10481 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-017-0105-0

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  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Ovicide
  • Larvicide
  • Pupicide
  • Biopesticides
  • Longevity
  • Fecundity