Insecticidal Toxicity of Spilanthol from Spilanthes acmella Murr. against Plutella xylostella L.


The present study explored the Spilanthes acmella Murr. for insecticidal principle, a plant of high value. The seed extract showed insecticidal activity against Plutella xylostella. Further, bioassay guided isolation of bioactive compounds resulted in insecticidal active molecule, which was identified with the help of ESI-MS and NMR. Highest activity of 95 - 100 percent was observed at low dose of 2 g/l with spilanthol, while 60 - 70 and 80 - 90 percent mortality at 5 g/l in crude seed extracts prepared in methanol and hexane after 48 hours exposure, respectively. LC50 of 1.49, 5.14, 5.04, 11.75 g/l was observed with spilanthol, crude seed extract of methanol, hexane, deltamethrin, respectively. The findings indicate the potential of S. acmella with potent insecticidal toxicity for the management of P. xylostella and other insects of agricultural importance.

Share and Cite:

Sharma, A. , Kumar, V. , Rattan, R. , Kumar, N. and Singh, B. (2012) Insecticidal Toxicity of Spilanthol from Spilanthes acmella Murr. against Plutella xylostella L.. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 3, 1568-1572. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2012.311189.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] D. M. Verma and N. P. Balakrishnana and R. D. Dixit, “Flora of Madhya Pradesh,” Botanical Survey of India, Kolkotta, Vol. 1, 1993, pp. 612-613.
[2] V. G. Gokhale and B. V. Bhide, “Chemical Investigation of Spilanthes acmella,” Journal of Indian Chemical Society, Vol. 22, 1945, pp. 250-252.
[3] S. Prachayasittikul, S. Suphapong, A. Worachartcheewan, R. Lawung, S. Ruchirawat and V. Prachayasittikul, “Bioactive Metabolites from Spilanthes acmella Murr.,” Molecules, Vol. 14, No. 2, 2009, pp. 850-867. doi:10.3390/molecules14020850
[4] R. Martin and H. Becker, “Spilanthol-Related Amides from Acmella ciliate,” Phytochemistry, Vol. 23, No. 8, 1984, pp. 1781-1783. doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(00)83490-1
[5] R. Martin and H. Becker, “Amides and Other Constituents from Acmella ciliate,” Phytochemistry, Vol. 24, No. 10, 1985, pp. 2295-2300. doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(00)83030-7
[6] A. M. Broussalis, G. E. Ferraro, V. S. I Martino, R. Pinzon, J. D. Coussio and J. C. Alvarez, “Argentine Plants as Potential Source of Insecticidal Compounds,” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol. 67, No. 2, 1999, pp. 219-223. doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(98)00216-5
[7] V. Pandey, V. Agrawal, K. Raghavendra and A. P. Dash, “Strong Insecticidal Activity of Three Species of Spilanthes (Akarkara) against Malaria (Anopheles stephensi Liston, Anopheles culicifacies, species C) and Filaria Vector (Culex quinquefasciatus Say),” Parasitology Research, Vol. 102, 2007, pp. 171-174. doi:10.1007/s00436-007-0763-9
[8] R. S. Ramsewak, A. J. Erickson and M. G. Nair, “Bioactive N-Isobutylamides from the Flower Buds of Spilanthes acmella,” Phytochemistry, Vol. 51, 1999, pp. 729-732. doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(99)00101-6
[9] W. Fabry, P. Okemo and R. Ansorg, “Activity of East African Medicinal Plants against Helicobacter pylori,” Chemotherapy Basel, Vol. 42, No. 5, 1996, pp. 315-317.
[10] S. A. Rani and S. U. Murty, “Evaluation of Antimicrobial Activity of Spilanthes acmella Flower Head Extract,” Journal of Natural Remedies, Vol. 5, No. 2, 2005, pp. 170-171.
[11] G. V. M. Sharma, T. Shekharam and V. Upender, “Stereoconvergent Synthesis of a Potent Mosquito Larvicide: (2E,4E,8E,10Z)-N-(2-methylprpyl)-2,4,8,10-dodecatetraeneamide,” Tetrahedron, Vol. 46, 1990, pp. 5665-5672. doi:10.1016/S0040-4020(01)87765-6
[12] W. Fabry, P. Okemo and R. Ansorg, “Fungistatic and Fungicidal Activity of East African Medicinal Plants,” Mycoses, Vol. 39, No. 1-2, 1996, pp. 67-70. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0507.1996.tb00087.x
[13] M. K. Rai, A. Verma and A. K. Pandey, “Antifungal Activity of Spilanthes calva after Inoculation of Pirifor- maspora indica,” Mycoses, Vol. 47, 2002, pp. 479-481. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0507.2004.01045.x
[14] S. Phongpaichit, S. Subhadhirasakul and C. Wattanapiromsakul, “Antifungal Activities of Extracts from Thai Medicinal Plants against Opportunistic Fungal Pathogens Associated with AIDS Patients,” Mycoses, Vol. 48, No. 5, 2005, pp. 333-338. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0507.2005.01142.x
[15] S. A. Rani and S. U. Murty, “Antifungal Potential of Flower Head Extract of Spilanthes acmella Linn.,” African Journal of Biomedical Research, Vol. 9, No. 1, 2006, pp. 67-68.
[16] R. Pandey, “Application of Botanicals for Management of Root-Knot Nematode Disease of Ammi majus L.,” Indian Journal of Nematology, Vo. 32, No. 2, 2002, pp. 198-200.
[17] N. S. Talekar and A. M. Shelton, “Biology, Ecology and Management of the Diamondback Moth,” Annual Review of Entomology, Vol. 38, No. 1, 1993, pp. 275-301. doi:10.1146/annurev.en.38.010193.001423
[18] A. J. Thorsteinson, “The Chemotactic Responses That Determine Host Specificity in an Oligophagous Insect (Plutella maculipennis (Curt.) Lepidoptera),” Canadian Journal of Zoology, Vol. 31, No. 1, 1953, pp. 52-72. doi:10.1139/z53-006
[19] A. R. Syed, “Insecticide Resistance in the Diamondback Moth in Malaysia,” Proceedings of 2nd International Workshop, Taiwan, 10-14 December 1990, 603 p.
[20] A. M. Shelton, F. V. Sances, J. Hawley, J. D. Tang, V.M. Boune, et al., “Assessment of Insecticide Resistance after the Outbreak of Diamondback Moth (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) in California in 1997,” Journal of Economic Entomology, Vol. 93, No. 3, 2000, pp. 931-936. doi:10.1603/0022-0493-93.3.931
[21] A. M. Shelton, J. A. Wyman, N. L. Cushing, K. Apfel-beck, T. J. Dennehy, et al., “Insect Resistance of Diamondback Moth (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) in North America,” Journal of Economic Entomology, Vol. 86, No. 1, 1993, pp. 11-19.
[22] G. P. Georghiou, “The Occurrence of Resistance to Pesticides in Arthropods. An Index of Cases Reported through 1980,” Accession No: XF8227745, FAO, Rome, 1981, pp. 25-30.
[23] T. Saito, T. Miyata, N. Sinchaisri and A. Vattanatangum, “Management of Brown Plant Hopper and Resistance of Diamondback Moth,” Nagoya University Corp. Press, Nagoya, 1995, pp. 128-147.
[24] B. E. Tabashnik, Y. Carriere, T. J. Dennehy, S. Morin, M. S. Sisterson, et al., “Insect Resistance to Transgenic Bt crops: Lessons from the Laboratory and Field,” Journal of Economic Entomology, Vol. 96, No. 4, 2003, pp. 1031-1038. doi:10.1603/0022-0493-96.4.1031
[25] M. Sarfraz and B. A. Keddie, “Conserving the Efficacy of Insecticides against Plutella xylostella (L.) (Lep., Plutellidae),” Journal of Applied Entomology, Vol. 129, No. 3, 2005, pp. 149-157. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0418.2005.00930.x
[26] N. Endersby and P. Ridland, “Insecticide Resistance in Victorian Populations of Diamondback Moth, Plutella xylostella (L.),” Australian Entomological Society, 1994, p. 31.
[27] C. N. Sun, “Insecticide Resistance in Diamondback Moth. In Diamondback Moth and Other Crucifera Pests,” Proceedings of 2nd International Workshop, Taiwan, 10-14 December 1990, 1992, pp. 419-426.
[28] W. S. Abbott, “A method of Computing the Effectiveness of an Insecticide,” Journal of Economic Entomology, Vol. 18, 1925, pp. 265-267.
[29] E. P. A., “Probit Analysis,” Version 1.5, 2012.
[30] D. J. Finney, “Probit Analysis,” 3rd Edition, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1971.
[31] M. Vollinger, “The Possible Development of Resistance against Neem Seed Kernel Extract and Deltamethrin in Plutella xylostella,” In: H. Schmutterer and K. R. S. Ascher, Eds., Natural Pesticides from the Neem Tree (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) and Other Tropical Plants, Proceedings of 3rd International Neem Conference, German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ), Eschborn, 1987, pp. 543-554.
[32] H. Schmutterer, “Potential of Azadirachtin Containing Pesticides for Integrated Pest Control in Developing and Industrialized Countries,” Journal of Insect Physiology, Vol. 34, 1988, pp. 713-719. doi:10.1016/0022-1910(88)90082-0
[33] E. Guenther, “The Essential Oil,” Vol. 1, D. Van Nostrand Co. Inc., New York, 1948.
[34] S. K. Shaaya, M. Kostjukovski, J. Eilberg and C. Sukprakarn, “Plant Oils as Fumigants & Contact Insecticides for the Control of Stored Product Insects,” Journal of Stored Products Research, Vol. 33, No. 1, 1997, pp. 7-15. doi:10.1016/S0022-474X(96)00032-X
[35] M. B. Isman, “Plant Essential Oils for Pest and Disease Management,” Crop Protection, Vol. 19, No. 8, 2000, pp. 603-608. doi:10.1016/S0261-2194(00)00079-X
[36] R. Granget and J. Passet, “Thymus vilgaris Spontane de France: Races Chimiques et Chemotaxonomie,” Phytochemistry, Vol. 12, 1973, pp. 1683-1691. doi:10.1016/0031-9422(73)80388-7
[37] B. Benjilali and H. Richards, “Etude de Quelques Peuplements d’Armoise Blanche du Maroc,” Rivista Italiana, Vol. 62, 1980, pp. 69-74.
[38] N. Nakatani and M. Nagashima, “Pungenet Alkamides from Spilanthes acmella L. var Oleraceae Clark,” Biosciences, Biotechnology and Biochemistry, Vol. 56, 1992, pp. 759-762. doi:10.1271/bbb.56.759
[39] H. A. Kadir, M. B. Zakaria, A. A. Kechil and M. S. Azirun, “Toxicity and Electrophysiological Effects of Spilanthes acmella Murr. Extracts on Periplaneta americana L.,” Pesticide Science, Vol. 25, No. 4, 1989, pp. 329-335. doi:10.1002/ps.2780250402
[40] N. R. Krishnaswamy, S. Prasanna, T. R. Seshadri and T. N. C. Vedantham, “α and β-Amyrin Esters and Sitosterol Glucoside from Spilanthes acmella,” Phytochemistry, Vol. 14, 1975, pp. 1666-1667. doi:10.1016/0031-9422(75)85386-6
[41] D. K. Mukharya and A. H. Ansari, “Olean-12-en-3-O- beta-D-galactopyranosyl(1→4)-O-alpha-L-rhamnopyranoside: A New Triterpenoidal Saponin from the Roots of Spilanthes acmella (Murr.),” Indian Journal of Chemistry B, Vol. 26, 1987, pp. 81-87.
[42] I. P. Subedi and K. Vaidya, “Control of Flea Beetle, Phyllotreta nemorum L. (Coleoptera: Crysomelidae) Using Available Natural Resources,”Himalayan Journal of Sciences, Vol. 1, No. 2, 2003, pp. 111-114.
[43] D. K. Saraf and V. K. Dixit, “Spilanthes acmella Murr.: Study on Its Extract Spilanthol as Insecticidal Compound,” Asian Journal of Experimental Sciences, Vol. 16, No. 1-2, 2002, pp. 9-19.
[44] B. Pitasawat, W. Choochote, D. Kanjanapothi, A. Panthong, A. Jitpakdi and U. Chaithong, “Screening for Insecticidal Activity of Ten Carminative Plants,” Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health, Vol. 29, 1998, pp. 660-662.
[45] P. Samiron and M. C. Kalita, “Effect of Some Indigenous Plants Extracts of N. E. India against Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus,” Medical Entomology & Zoology, Vol. 55, No. 4, 2004, pp. 325-327.
[46] T. L. G. Lemos, O. D. L. Pessoa, F. J. A. Matos, J. W. Alencar and A. A. Craveiro, “The Essential Oil of Spilanthes acmella Murr,” Journal Essential Oil Research, Vol. 3, 1991, pp. 369-370. doi:10.1080/10412905.1991.9697962
[47] R. N. Baruah and P. A. Leclercq, “Characterization of the Essential Oil from Flower Heads of Spilanthes acmella,” Journal Essential Oil Research, Vol. 5, 1993, pp. 693- 695. doi:10.1080/10412905.1993.9698310
[48] A. H. Ansari, D. K. Mukharya and V. K. Saxena, “Analgesic study of N-isobutyl-4,5-decadienamide Isolated from the Flowers of Spilanthes acmella (Murr),” Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vol. 50, 1988, 106 p.

Copyright © 2024 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.