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J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Sep 22;58(18):10001-6. doi: 10.1021/jf102193k.

Larvicidal activity of Asarum heterotropoides root constituents against insecticide-susceptible and -resistant Culex pipiens pallens and Aedes aegypti and Ochlerotatus togoi.

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  • 1Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-921, Republic of Korea.


We investigated the toxicity of (-)-asarinin, α-asarone, methyleugenol, pellitorine, and pentadecane identified in Asarum heterotropoides root to third instar larvae from insecticide-susceptible Culex pipiens pallens (KS-CP strain), Aedes aegypti, and Ochlerotatus togoi as well as field-collected C. p. pallens (DJ-CP colony), identified by polymerase chain reaction. Results were compared with those of two conventional mosquito larvicides: fenthion and temephos. Pellitorine (LC50, 2.08, 2.33, and 2.38 ppm) was 5.5, 10.8, and 25.6 times, 4.5, 11.6, and 24.7 times, and 6.9, 11.1, and 24.6 times more toxic than (-)-asarinin, α-asarone, and methyleugenol against susceptible C. p. pallens, A. aegypti, and O. togoi larvae, respectively. Pentadecane was least toxic. Overall, all the compounds were less toxic than either fenthion or temephos. However, these compounds did not differ in toxicity against larvae from the two Culex strains, even though the DJ-CP larvae exhibited high levels of resistance to fenthion (resistance ratio (RR), 1179), chlorpyrifos (RR, 1174), fenitrothion (RR, 428), deltamethrin (RR, 316), chlorfenapyr (RR, 225), and α-cypermethrin (RR, 94). This finding indicates that the isolated compounds and the pyrethroid, organophosphorus, and pyrrole insecticides do not share a common mode of action or elicit cross-resistance. A. heterotropoides root-derived materials, particularly (-)-asarinin and pellitorine, merit further study as potential mosquito larvicides for the control of insecticide-resistant mosquito populations in light of global efforts to reduce the level of highly toxic synthetic insecticides in the aquatic environment.

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