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E-Journal of Chemistry
Volume 8, Issue 1, Pages 300-304

Insecticidal Components from the Essential Oil of Chinese Medicinal Herb, Ligusticum chuanxiong Hort

Sha Sha Chu,1 Guo Hua Jiang,2 and Zhi Long Liu1

1Department of Entomology, China Agricultural University Yuanmingyuan West Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100094, China
2The Analytic and Testing CenterBeijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China

Received 25 May 2010; Accepted 20 July 2010

Copyright © 2011 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Essential oil of Chinese medicinal herb, Ligusticum chuanxiong dried rhizome was found to possess insecticidal activity against maize weevils, Sitophilus zeamais. The main components of L. chuanxiong essential oil were Z-3-butylidenephthalide (20.56%), Z-ligustilide (19.61%), 4-terpinenol (8.82%), 4-vinylguaiacol (6.81%) and α-selinene (6.01%). Bioactivity-guided chromatographic separation of the essential oil on repeated silica gel columns led to isolate three compounds namely 3-butylidenephthalide, Z-ligustilide and 4-vinylguaiacol. Z-liqustilide and Z-3-butylidenephthalide showed pronounced toxicity against S. zeamais (LD50= 10.23 and 15.81 μg/adult respectively) and were more toxic than 4-vinylguaiacol (LD50 = 63.75 μg/adult). The crude essential oil also possessed contact toxicity against S. zeamais (LD50 = 13.09 μg/adult).