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Phytochemical study of Trichilia pallens (Meliaceae) seeking potential insecticides on the fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda J.E. Smith)

Grant number: 12/08281-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2012
Effective date (End): December 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Organic Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Maria Fátima das Graças Fernandes da Silva
Grantee:Bruno Sacchetto Paulo
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Exatas e de Tecnologia (CCET). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


Plants are traditionally used by peoples of all continents in the control of various pests and diseases (Newman et al., 2003). Actually, there are several research involving insecticide plants, especially species of the family Meliaceae, like Azadirachta indica, generally known as Neem. This plant species has been widely studied, with promising effects observed in the control of various pests. The good results seen with Neem have stimulated research on other plant species (Matos et al., 2006, Oliveira et al., 2007). The interest in applying plant secondary metabolites in integrated pest management is increasing, as these can reduce the cost of crop production, environmental risks, and dependence on synthetic insecticides (Singh et al., 1997). The fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E, Smith), is a major pest of corn, its damage can lead to a reduction of up to 34% in yield, depending mainly on the stage of culture that the attack occurs (Cross, 1982). The use of synthetic insecticides has been the main method of pest control, but their indiscriminate use and misuse have increased the number of applications and their efficiency decreased, mainly due to the emergence of resistant insect populations. In addition, lead to many other problems such as residues in food, biological imbalance, and intoxication of operators. Thus, control measures that cause less environmental impact are of primary importance, which has spurred a resurgence of the use of insecticidal plants as a promising tool for controlling insects. Research involving insecticide plants has evolved significantly in recent decades in all continents. The active principles of Trichilia pallens responsible for the activity to reduce the survival and larval weight of S. frugiperda (Borgoni et. al., 2003, 2005), are not known. Furthermore, there is no literature reports of phytochemical studies of this sort. Thus, the phytochemical study of T. pallens bring information to the search for more efficient models against insects and less aggressive to the environment and the profile of chemical species. With this, the project objectives are: phytochemical study of leaves and twigs of Trichilia pallens in search of potential insecticides effective against the fall armyworm S. frugiperda; bioassays against S. frugiperda, learning different chromatographic methods, and learning of structural determination via NMR and MS. (AU)

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