Biological activity of Melia azedarach extracts against Spodoptera exigua
Melia azedarach is a plant species whose fruits posses nematicidal and insecticidal activity. In this study, we tested two M. azedarach extracts: a crude methanolic fruit extract (CRU) and its limonoids fraction (LIM) produced after partitioning with dichloromethane to check their insecticidal activity against beet armyworm Spodoptera exigua. Both extracts disturbed development of S. exigua. After exposure to CRU and LIM, hatching success was slightly lower, larval-pupal and pupal-imago moulting was significantly disturbed. In physiological studies, CRU extracts decreased the heartbeat of S. exigua pupae. Electron microscopic studies revealed that both extracts caused malformations of fat body and midgut cells. The most common observed malformations were: vacuolization of mitochondria, swollen endoplasmic reticulum and degeneration of nuclei. Obtained results indicated that M. azedarach fruits are a source of substances that may be used in plant protection against S. exigua. Despite the fact that M. azedarach extracts do not cause acute effects, their usage may lead to serious disturbances within exposed insects and significantly decrease activity of pests.
Key wordsSpodoptera exigua Melia azedarach insecticidal activity insect tissue ultrastructure insect physiology
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