Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Abstract Tall oil, a by-product of the kraft process for pulping softwood, has been shown to have insecticidal properties. In the present study, the active principles in tall oil against the variegated cutworm,Peridroma saucia Hübner, were investigated. GC-MS analysis showed that abietic, dehydroabietic, and isopimaric acids were major resin acid components of crude tall oil and depitched tall oil. When crude tall oil samples of differing resin acid composition were incorporated into artificial diet at a concentration of 2.0% fresh weight, they suppressed larval growth by 45–60% compared to controls. This suppression was significantly (P≤0.05) correlated with the equivalent contents of abietic, dehydroabietic, isopimaric, and total resin acids. These results were also evident from a diet choice test, showing that the second-instar larvae obviously selected diets with low levels of resin acids when different diets were randomly arranged in a Petri dish. Bioassays with pure resin acids (abietic, dehydroabietic, and isopimaric acids) demonstrated that all individual chemicals have similar bioactivity against this insect. Comparison of the bioactivities of depitched tall oil and an equivalent mixture of pure resin acids in thePeridroma chronic growth bioassay indicated that pure resin acids and depitched tall oil share a common mode of action to this insect. This study confirms that resin acids are major active principles in tall oil against the variegated cutworm, but other chemicals likely also contribute to the bioactivity of tall oil.
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