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Screening of Plant Extracts for Antifeedant Activity Against Spodoptera litura and Helicoverpa armigera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)
T. Chinnamani and A. Jeyasankar
 
 
    How to Cite:
T. Chinnamani and A. Jeyasankar , 2018. Screening of Plant Extracts for Antifeedant Activity Against Spodoptera litura and Helicoverpa armigera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Insight Bacteriology, 7: 1-6
DOI: 10.5567/BACTERIOL-IK.2018.1.6
 


INTRODUCTION

Man suffers extensively due to the nuisance of insect populations both in agriculture and health. In agriculture, insects affect directly the growing part of the crop and causes severe damage, resulting in revenue loss. Crop loss due to insect pests is estimated between 10 and 30% for major crops1. In a tropical country like India, owing to climatic conditions and its particular environment, agriculture is suffering from severe losses due to pests. Considering the agro-ecosystems with an increase in population and dwindling land resources there is worldwide demand for natural insecticides to increase the agriculture production. Due to these problems, a search is going on to discover new, less damaging pest management tools2. Chemical pesticides have been used for several decades in controlling pests as they have a quick knock down effect. However, their indiscriminate use resulted in several problems such as resistance to pesticides, resurgence of pests, elimination of natural enemies, toxic residues in food, water, air and soil which affected human health and disrupt the ecosystem, leading to the threat that their continued use may further harm the environment. Under such alarming situations, plants and plant derived products offered a tremendous advantage over synthetic pesticides in use as control agents for the pests of agriculture, veterinary and public health since plant kingdom is the most efficient producer of chemical compounds, synthesizing many products that are used in defense against insects3. However, the screening of plant extracts against insects are still continuing throughout the world to find out different kinds of effects of botanicals to obtain an ecofriendly and economical biopesticide. Helicoverpa armigera (Hub.) has gained increased attention in many parts of the world. Helicoverpa armigera is highly polyphagous pest, infest more than 500 plant species and is a serious pest in India. The greatest damage is caused to cotton, tomatoes, maize, chick peas, alfalfa and tobacco etc.4,5. Very few reports were present pertaining to the antifeedant activity of plant extracts against Spodoptera litura and Helicoverpa armigera6,7. Therefore, the present study deals with screening of various plant extracts for their antifeedant activity against Spodoptera litura and Helicoverpa armigera.


MATERIALS AND METHODS

Collection of plant materials: In the present study, total of 26 plants was belonging to diverse families and genera collected from Puliansolai, Kolli hills, Namakkal district, Tamil Nadu, India. Plant specimen was identified by Dr. S. John Britto, Director, The Rapinat Herbarium and Centre for Molecular Systematics, St’ Joseph’s College, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India. The voucher specimen was prepared and deposited at PG and Research Department of Zoology, Government Arts College, Musiri, Tamil Nadu, India. The plant materials were thoroughly washed with tap water and air dried under room temperature (28±2°C) and relative humidity ( RH, 75±5) at Department of Zoology, Government Arts College, Musiri (Table 1).

Extraction methods: After complete drying the plant materials were powdered using electric blender and sieved through kitchen strainer. The extracts were prepared by soaking 200 g of dried powder in 600 mL of hexane, chloroform and ethyl acetate sequentially with increasing polarity of solvents successively for 24 h by cold extraction methods. The extracts were filtered through Whatman’s No. 1 filter paper. The solvent from the crude extracts were evaporated to air dryness at room temperature. The crude extracts were collected in clean Borosil vials and stored in the refrigerator at 4°C for subsequent bioassay against S. litura and H. armigera.

Rearing of test insects
Spodoptera litura :
Egg masses of S. litura were collected from caster field at Anaipatti near Arignar Anna Govt. Arts College Musiri, Tiruchirappalli district, Tamil Nadu, India. Collected leaves with egg masses were transferred on the filter paper and kept in petri dishes under laboratory condition (28±2°C) temperature and (RH 75±5%). Newly hatching larvae were reared on leaves of castor (Ricinus communis) till pre-pupal stage and sterilized soil was provided for pupation. After pupation, the pupa were collected from soil and placed inside the oviposition champers (46×40.5×40.5, 61×45.6×45.6). After adult emergence, cotton soaked with 10% sugar solution with few drops of multi-vitamins was kept inside oviposition cage for adult feeding. After hatching the larvae were provided castor leaf for feeding. These laboratory reared larvae were used for bioassay, at room temperature (28±2°C) and (RH 75±5%).

Helicoverpa armigera : Helicoverpa armigera larvae will be collected from bhendi field near Arignar Anna Government Arts College, Musiri and will be reared in bhendi individually in a plastic container (for avoiding cannibalism) till they attain pupal stage under laboratory conditions (28±2°C and 80±5% RH). Sterilized soil will be provided for pupation. After pupation, the pupa were collected from soil and placed inside the oviposition champers (46×40.5×40.5, 46×40.5×40).

Table 1: List of plants utilized in study

After adult emergence, cotton soaked with 10% sugar solution with few drops of multivitamins was kept inside oviposition cage for adult feeding. After hatching newly emerged larvae will be providing bhendi for feeding. These laboratory reared larvae were used for bioassay, at room temperature (28±2°C) and (RH 75±5%).

Bioassay
Antifeedant activity:
Antifeedant activity of crude extracts studied using leaf disc method. The stock concentration of crude extracts (5%) was prepared by dissolving in acetone and mixing with dechlorinated water. Polysorbate 20 (Tween 20) at 0.05% was used as emulsifier. Fresh cotton leaf (for H. armigera) and castor leaf (for S. litura) discs of 4 and 3cm diameter were punched using cork borer and dipped in 0.625, 1.25, 2.50 and 5.00%, respectively concentration of crude extracts separately and air dried for 5 min. After air drying, treated leaf discs were kept inside the petri dishes (15×90 mm diameter) separately containing wet filter paper to avoid drying of the leaf disc and single 2 h pre-starved fourth instar larva of H. armigera and S. litura was introduced on each treated leaf disc. Leaf discs treated with acetone were considered as control. Ten replications were maintained for each treatment. Progressive consumption of leaf area by the larva in 24 h period was recorded in control and treatments using leaf area meter (systronics 211). Leaf area consumed in plant extract treatment was corrected from the control. The percentage of antifeedant index was calculated using the formula of Ben Jannet et al.8:

Where, C and T represent the amount of leaf eaten by the larva on control and treated discs, respectively.


RESULTS
Antifeedant activity of crude plant extracts was assessed based on antifeedant index. Higher antifeedant index normally indicate decreased rate of feeding. In the present study, the antifeedant activity varied significantly based on the solvents used for extraction. Antifeedant effects of different plant extracts were evaluated based on leaf area consumed by Spodoptera litura and Helicoverpa armigera (Table 2) lists out the antifeedant effect of various plant species tested. Increase in number of plus signs against the extracts of a plant reflects the degree of antifeedant activity. Among the 26 plant species tested, the extracts of Pseudocalymma alliaceum, Barleria buxifolia, Solanum pseudocapsicum were found to be effective against the 4th instar larvae of S. litura and H. armigera.

Table 2: Screening of antifeedant activity of twenty six plants extracts against Spodoptera litura and Helicoverpa armigera

The maximum antifeedant activity was recorded in 5% concentration of ethyl acetate extract of Pseudocalymma alliaceum (81.55 and 79.44%), Solanum pseudocapsicum (76.32 and 74.66%), Barleria buxifolia (73.23 and 70.66%) and chloroform extract of Pseudocalymma alliaceum (68.33 and 63.77%), Solanum pseudocapsicum (61.55 and 57.12%), Barleria buxifolia (54.80 and 48.46%),) whereas, minimum in hexane extracts of Pseudocalymma alliaceum (39.46 and 31.17%), Solanum pseudocapsicum (31.11 and 29.40), Barleria buxifolia (28.99 and 21.55%), (Table 3).


DISCUSSION

Plants have more numbers of naturally occurring phytocompounds that possess plant protection properties against insect pests and diseases. These natural products in insect pest management programs are received much attention in recent years due to environmental pollution, pest resistance, resurgence and undesirable effects to the non target organisms caused by unsystematic use of synthetic pesticides. Antifeedant activity of botanicals against insects has been studied in many countries. Higher antifeedant index normally indicate decreased rate of feeding. Antifeedant is a chemical that inhibits the feeding without killing the insect pests directly, while it remains near the treated foliage and dies through starvation9-10.

Antifeedant activities of rhein isolated from Cassia fistula flower against lepidopteran pests Spodoptera litura and Helicoverpa armigera with significant antifeedant activity at 1000 ppm concentration11 stated that leaf extract and its column eluted with ethyl acetate fraction from Pergularia daemia exhibited good antifeedant activity against Spodoptera litura. Due to the toxic effect of plant extracts, maximum number of treated larvae died inspite of less food consumption12. Earlier, the maximum larval mortality was found in the essential oil of Zingiber officinales tested against armyworm, S. litura an agricultural important lepidopteron pest13. This indicates that the active principles present in the particular solvent extracts inhibit larval feeding behaviour or make the food unpalatable or the substances directly act on the chemosensilla of the larva resulting in feeding deterrence (antifeedant).

Table 3: Antifeedant activity of P. alliaceum , S. pseudocapsicum and B. buxifolia plant extract against S. litura and H. armigera

These findings are in agreement with the earlier reports of Jeyasankar et al.14. Several authors have reported that plant extracts possess a similar type of antifeedant activity against lepidopteran pests15. Jeyasankar et al.16, reported a new crystal compound 2,5-Diacetoxy-2benzyl-4,4,6,6-tetramethyl-1,3-cyclohexa nedione that isolated from the leaves of Syzygium lineare (S. lineare) was effective against S. litura. In the present study, hexane, chloroform and ethyl acetate extracts of B. buxifolia, S. pseudocapsicum and P. alliaceum was promising in reducing feeding rate of S. litura and H. armigera. The rate of feeding significantly varied depending on the concentration of the plant extracts. This indicates that the active principles present in the plants inhibit larval feeding behaviour or make the food unpalatable or the substances directly act on the chemosensilla of the larva resulting in feeding deterrence. The present results suggest that leaves extracts sufficiently inhibited the responses of larvae to these specific stimuli. The physical properties of the tested extract probably were not significant in the sense of feeding inhibition, since there were not visible differences between treated and untreated leaves. Therefore, prevention of leaf damage achieved by the application of tested extract could be mainly attributed to their active compounds. These findings are in agreement with the earlier reports of Jeyasankar et al.14,17,18.


CONCLUSION
Pesticidal screening of different plant species against H. armigera and S. litura. Among the plants screened for antifeedant activity, Pseudocalymma alliaceum, Solanum pseudocapsicum and Barleria buxifolia showed significant antifeedant activity. Further, it may be suggested that the active phytocompounds could be isolated and identified which then can be used for controlling the economically important insect pests.


SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT
This study discovers the screening of pesticidal plants against economically important insect pests. Twenty six plants screened, Pseudocalymma alliaceum, Solanum pseudocapsicum and Barleria buxifolia showed significant antifeedant activity on Spodoptera litura and Helicoverpa armigera. Thus, these plants may be used to control the insect pests.


REFERENCES

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  12. Malarvannan, S., R. Giridharan, S. Sekar, V.R. Prabhavathi and S. Nair, 2008. Bioefficacy of crude and fractions of Argemia mexicana against Tobacco caterpillar, Spodoptera litura (Fab.) (Lepidoptera: Noctuiidae). J. Biopesticides, 1: 55-62.

  13. Elumalai, K., K. Krishnappa, A. Anandan, M. Govindarajan and T. Mathivanan, 2010. Larvicidal and ovicidal activity of seven essential oil against lepidopteran pest Spodoptera litura (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Int. J. Recent Sci. Res., 1: 8-14

  14. Jeyasankar, A., S. Premalatha and K. Elumalai, 2012. Biological activities of Solanum pseudocapsicum (Solanaceae) against cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera Hubner and armyworm, Spodoptera litura Fabricius (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Asian Pac. J. Biomed., 2: 981-986

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