Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 1548–1557 | Cite as

Interference mechanism of Sophora alopecuroides L. alkaloids extract on host finding and selection of the Asian citrus psyllid Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Psyllidae)

  • Syed Arif Hussain Rizvi
  • Siquan Ling
  • Fajun Tian
  • Jiali Liu
  • Xinnian ZengEmail author
Research Article


Manipulating insect behavior through the deployment of semiochemicals offers a promising opportunity for protecting crops in a sustainable manner. Therefore, there is still a significant opportunity for the development of natural crop protectants as eco-friendly tools in pest management. In this context, the aim of the current investigation is to find a novel prophylactic against the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and to gain a better understanding of the host-finding and selection ability of the ACP towards Murraya paniculata seedlings treated with Sophora alopecuroides alkaloids extract (SAAE). Our results indicate that foliar application of SAAE influences the psyllid host-finding and selection process. The behavioral assay with M. paniculata seedlings treated with 15 and 30 mg/mL of SAAE, with masked visual cues, revealed that only 6.6 and 10.4% psyllids were able to locate the host in the vials. The results also indicate that citrus psyllids mainly rely on both visual and olfaction in host-finding and selection. In choice settling experiments, psyllids settled almost completely on control seedlings rather than on seedlings treated with SAAE at a concentration of 30 mg/mL. Chemical analyses of the alkaloids extract revealed the presence of sophocarpine (33.90%), sophoridine (6.23%), anagyrine (2.77%), matrine (2.38%), lupanine (1.68%) aphylline (0.89%), and sophoramine (0.75%). In further behavioral bioassays with the dominant alkaloids sophocarpine and sophoridine, the alkaloids repelled ACP at higher concentrations of 50 and 70 mg/mL as compared to SAAE. Furthermore, the 50 mg/mL (1:1, v/v) combination of sophocarpine and sophoridine displayed a synergistic effect and showed the maximum behavioral effect as compared to the individual alkaloid. Based on our results, SAAE makes M. paniculata seedlings unattractive to the psyllids, and therefore, alkaloids could be used in reducing the colonization of citrus plants, subsequently curtailing HLB infection.


Botanical pesticides Diaphorina citri Sophora alopecuroides Alkaloids Host selection Behavioral effect 



Thanks are due to the National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFD0202005), the Natural Science Foundation of China (31572314), and the Department of Science and Technology of Guangdong Province (2015B090903076) for the financial support to the present research.

Author contributions

Conceived, designed, and performed the experiments: SAHR, ZX, and JL gives the direction of research and reviewed the manuscript, SL and FT help in analyzing the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all authors included in the study.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Syed Arif Hussain Rizvi
    • 1
  • Siquan Ling
    • 1
  • Fajun Tian
    • 1
  • Jiali Liu
    • 1
  • Xinnian Zeng
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Guangdong Engineering Research Center for Insect Behavior Regulation, College of AgricultureSouth China Agricultural UniversityGuangzhouChina

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