Assessment of Melissa officinalis L. essential oil as an eco-friendly approach against biodeterioration of wheat flour caused by Tribolium castaneum Herbst

  • Neha Upadhyay
  • Vipin Kumar Singh
  • Abhishek Kumar Dwivedy
  • Somenath Das
  • Anand Kumar Chaudhari
  • Nawal Kishore DubeyEmail author
Research Article


The study reports efficacy of Melissa officinalis L. essential oil (MOEO) as a safe plant-based insecticide against Tribolium castaneum Herbst (TC) by induction of oxidative stress. MOEO nanoencapsulation in chitosan matrix was performed to enhance its bioefficacy. GC–MS analysis of MOEO depicted geranial (31.54%), neral (31.08%), and β-caryophyllene (12.42%) as the major components. MOEO showed excellent insecticidal potential in contact (100% mortality at 0.157 μL/cm2) and fumigant bioassays (LC50 = 0.071 μL/mL air) and 100% repellency at concentration ≤ 0.028 μL/cm2. Increased reactive oxygen species (ROS), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and decreased ratio of reduced glutathione (GSH) to oxidized glutathione (GSSG) at the LC50 dose suggested significant oxidative stress on TC in MOEO treatment sets. The encapsulated MOEO exhibited enhanced activity as fumigant (LC50 = 0.048 μL/mL air) and showed significant antifeedant activity in situ (EC50 = 0.043 μL/mL). High LD50 value (13,956.87 μL/kg body weight of mice) confirmed favorable toxicological profile for non-target mammals. The findings depict potential of nanoencapsulated MOEO as an eco-friendly green pesticide against infestation of stored food by TC.


Melissa officinalis L. essential oil Tribolium castaneum Herbst Antioxidant defense system Nanoencapsulation Green insecticide Antifeedant 



Neha Upadhyay is thankful to University Grants Commission (UGC) New Delhi; Vipin Kumar Singh is thankful to Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) New Delhi for research fellowship; Head, Centre of Advanced Study (CAS) in Botany, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Department of Science and Technology-Promotion of University Research and Scientific Excellence (DST-PURSE), Animal Care & Ethical Committee and Interdisciplinary School of Life Sciences (ISLS), Banaras Hindu University (BHU) for laboratory facilities; Central Instrument Facility, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-BHU, Varanasi, India.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest

Supplementary material

11356_2019_4688_MOESM1_ESM.docx (17 kb)
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neha Upadhyay
    • 1
  • Vipin Kumar Singh
    • 1
  • Abhishek Kumar Dwivedy
    • 1
  • Somenath Das
    • 1
  • Anand Kumar Chaudhari
    • 1
  • Nawal Kishore Dubey
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory of Herbal Pesticides, Centre of Advanced Study in Botany, Institute of ScienceBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia

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