Psyche: A Journal of Entomology

Psyche: A Journal of Entomology / 2014 / Article

Research Article | Open Access

Volume 2014 |Article ID 705397 |

Elena A. Stepanycheva, Maria O. Petrova, Taisiya D. Chermenskaya, Roman Pavela, "Prospects for the Use of Pongamia pinnata Oil-Based Products against the Green Peach Aphid Myzus persicae (Sulzer) (Hemiptera: Aphididae)", Psyche: A Journal of Entomology, vol. 2014, Article ID 705397, 5 pages, 2014.

Prospects for the Use of Pongamia pinnata Oil-Based Products against the Green Peach Aphid Myzus persicae (Sulzer) (Hemiptera: Aphididae)

Academic Editor: Nawal Kishore Dubey
Received31 Jan 2014
Accepted14 Mar 2014
Published07 Apr 2014


This study is devoted to an estimation of the action of preparations based on Pongamia pinnata oil on the life cycle (survival, fecundity) of green peach aphid Myzus persicae (Sulzer) (Hemiptera: Aphididae). The M. persicae is a widespread pest and damages more than 100 species of plants. All test formulations had aphicidal activity for M. persicae adults and larvae. Moreover, they possess prolonged action, exerting a negative influence on the offspring. The preparations differed in speed of onset of mortality. The single treatment with these formulations provides significant reduction in the number of aphids during the observation period, because of the efficiency rising in time.

1. Introduction

A wide range of chemicals are used to protect plants from pests in modern agriculture. Most of them are not destroyed by enzyme systems of plants, or by external natural impacts, that is cause their accumulation in the crop, and as a result—in humans and animals. Regular treatments cause the occurrence of resistance in harmful objects and, at the same time, are dangerous for beneficial arthropods.

One possible solution to these problems is the search for new active substances—secondary plant metabolites. The ability of plants to produce antibiotic substances is well known [1, 2]. Currently, the list of known plant secondary metabolites continues to expand. Enough information to support the use of plant preparations for crop protection is already accumulated [3, 4].

Botanical insecticides are natural chemical substances isolated from plants. Such preparations may be considered as an alternative to synthetic chemical compounds, but they are not always less toxic to mammalian. But botanical insecticides are easily decomposed in the soil and will not be stored in the tissues of plants and animals.

Among the substances of plant origin, essential oils, which have well-known activity against various pests, occupy a special place. So, essential oils from plants of the Mentha genus, Origanum vulgare L., Ocimum basilicum L. (Lamiaceae), and Carum carvi L. (Umbelliferae) are highly toxic to Trialeurodes vaporariorum, Tetranychus cinnabarinus, Acanthoscelides obtectus, and Meligethes aeneus [58].

One of the most interesting objects of study in recent years is Pongamia oil, the use of which is widespread in various areas of activity. According to the literature and earlier results, this plant has insecticidal activity to some pest and synanthropic insects [9, 10].

Myzus persicae (Sulzer) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) is a widespread polyphagous aphid, which damages more than 100 species of plants. In greenhouses, there are forms with incomplete development cycle that can reproduce continuously throughout the year [11, 12]. Pesticide with broad spectrum is not effective enough due to the high resistance of M. persicae to organophosphate and pyrethroid insecticides [13].

With year-round growing season, the problem of the replacement of traditional pesticides with new means of pest control is actual in greenhouse crop production, where there is a constant accumulation of harmful arthropods.

The aim of our work is to evaluate the action of preparations based on Pongamia pinnata (L.) Pierre oil on the life cycle (survival, fecundity) of green peach aphid.

2. Materials and Methods

2.1. Insects

The green peach aphid Myzus persicae (Sulzer) was reared on sprouting broad beans (Vicia faba L.), grown at °C, 16 : 8 LD, and RH.

2.2. Plant Material and Chemicals

Pongam is seed oil from Pongamia pinnata (Parker Group, India) emulsified using Tween 85. The oil was tested by HPLC to determine the Karanjan content that is over 22 000 ppm.

Cinnamomum verum oil was obtained from the bark of Cinnamomum verum J. Presl, which were collected from plants growing in distinct areas of commercial plantations in southern India. The essential oil was extracted by hydrodistillation using a modified Clevenger apparatus. The bark was pulverized and 20 g was distilled in 300 mL DH2O in a 500 mL flask for 60 min. Oil samples were stored at 4°C until bioassays.

Extracts from Sapindus saponaria L. and Thymus vulgaris L. were prepared from the seeds of S. saponaria or flowering plants of T. vulgaris, respectively, by pulverization and extracted using 100% pure methanol during 48 h at the laboratory temperature (ratio plants : methanol; 1 : 10).

Thymol (pure 99.9%) was obtained from Sigma-Aldrich, Czech Republic.

2.3. Formulations

RE: Pongam (emulsified using Tween 85—ratio Tween : Oil = 1 : 9).REP: Pongam + thymol (emulsified using Tween 85—ratio Tween : Oil : thymol = 1 : 8 : 1).REP3: Pongam + Thymus vulgaris extract (emulsified using Tween 85—ratio Tween : Oil : extract = 1 : 8 : 1).REP4: Pongam + Cinnamomum verum oil (emulsified using Tween 85—ratio Tween : Oil : EO = 1 : 8 : 1).REP5: Pongam + Sapindus saponaria extract (emulsified using Tween 85—ratio Tween : Oil : extract = 1 : 8 : 1).NA: NeemAzal TS—The commercial insecticide NeemAzal-U (a.i. azadirachtin A 10 g/kg) (Trifolio-M GmbH, Lah-nau, Germany) was used for treatment.

2.4. Bioassays

To estimate insecticidal activity of the formulations in laboratory bioassays, filter paper discs impregnated with test solutions (0.25 mL/disc) were placed in the bottom and the lid of small Petri dishes (36 mm in diameter) (Corning Inc., USA); then a bean leaf treated with the same test solutions and 10 adult aphids were added. The control was treated with water. Twenty-four hours later, live and dead aphids and their offspring were counted. There were 5 replicates for each treatment. Biological efficacy, inhibition of oviposition, and mortality of subsequent nymphs were corrected by Abbott’s formula [14].

The effect of the treatments on aphid larvae mortality was determined as follows. The pepper plants (Capsicum annuum var. annuum L.) were grown particularly in the flowerpots at °C, 16 : 8 LD. The 15 aphid’s first instar larvae were placed on each plant with two true leaves freshly treated with formulations or water (control). The number of live and dead aphids was counted 1, 2, 3, and 7 days after. This procedure was replicated 10 times for each formulation and the control. Efficacy was corrected by Abbott’s formula [14].

Data were examined using analysis of variance (ANOVA), and means were separated using the Tukey honestly significant difference (HSD) multiple comparison test (). The LC50 and the 95% confidence limit of upper and lower confidence levels were calculated by using probit analysis [15].

3. Result and Discussion

At the maximum concentration (3%), almost all formulations, except REP5, resulted in 90% or above mortality of treated females (Table 1). With such a high mortality rate in tests NA, REP, REP3, and RE only a few larvae hatch and immediately died. On the other hand, after REP4 treatment, the fertility did not change significantly compared to the control, but the emergence of the next generation of individuals was not viable.

Biological efficacy
Inhibition oviposition
Corrected mortality of
subsequent nymphs %*







The values within columns with the same lowercase letter do not differ significantly (Turkey’s HSD test, ).

The gradual decrease in the concentration of working solutions in 2 times allowed us to determine the samples that retain their activity. In particular, even at a concentration of 0.75%, RE caused the death of more than 60% of females and inhibited the development of subsequent nymphs on 80%. After dilution to 0.375%, the efficacy (mortality of females) was 50%. The NA and REP4 somewhat inferior to RE in imagocidal activity.

When studying the influence of preparations on mortality of larvae of green peach aphid on vegetative plants, all samples showed high aphicidal activity at 3 and 1.5% (Table 2). There is a clearly expressed dynamic of aphid’s death, which indicates the accumulation of toxins in the body of insects. The preparations differed in speed of onset of mortality.

TreatmentConcentration, %Days, after treatment
1 2 3 7
Mortality %*Biological efficacy %Mortality, %*Biological efficacy %Mortality, %*Biological efficacy %Mortality %*Biological efficacy %

REP3.0 27.7 56.8 73.1 95.6
1.5 36.1 41.8 79.9 96.2
0.75 10.3 31.4 39.1 41.9

REP33.0 24.1 49.4 66.7 92.7
1.5 23.3 50.1 77.1 95.1
0.75 0 15.2 31.0 29.6

REP43.0 0 28.4 41.1 85.5
1.5 4.7 19.3 27.1 71.3
0.75 0 10.7 26.8 24.2

REP53.0 6.7 12.4 41.4 79.7
1.5 8.5 20.2 12.1 92.9

RE3.0 25.3 45.7 52.6 79.7
1.5 2.3 32.3 44.1 91.2
0.75 4.6 11.6 21.5 30.0

NA3.0 13.3 51.9 75.7 100
1.5 5.9 34.6 79.9 95.1
0.75 1.1 31.4 74.1 96.7

Controlfor 3%
for 1.5%
for 0.75%

The values within columns with the same lowercase letter do not differ significantly (Turkey’s HSD test, ).

Thus, the larval mortality on day 3 was over 60% in the tests with REP and REP3, while in tests with other formulations—below 50%. After dilution of the working solution to 0.75%, the activity of all samples sharply reduced, except REP (40%). The test samples are inferior to standard NeemAzal TS (NA) in the speed of appearance of the effect and retention of activity at reducing the concentration of the working solution, but nevertheless have certain larvicidal action to this insect.

The main component in our experimental formulations—P. pinnata oil—was not chosen by chance. So, Pongam oil treatments reduced the number of whiteflies on the chrysanthemum plants [16]. Also, the Pongamia oil caused high mortality of Spodoptera littoralis, M. persicae,and Tetranychus urticae on greenhouse plants [10].

There is not enough information about insecticidal properties of P. pinnata oil. Considering that, it is similar to well-known neem oil by a number of properties.

Additional components of our experimental formulations have insecticidal activity per se.

The thymol is one of the main substances of T. vulgaris. The extract and oil of this plant were toxic for stored pests Tribolium castaneum (Herbst), Callosobruchus maculatus, and Sitophilus granarius [17, 18], Sitotroga granarius, Acanthoscelides obtectus [19], and phytophage Trialeurodes vaporariorum [20].

A methylene chloride extract of the C. verum was shown to be insecticidal to T. castaneum and Sitophilus zeamais Motsch [21]. Cinnamon oil provided >90% mortality of citrus mealybug Planococcus citri (Risso), but did not provide sufficient control of sweetpotato whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) or green peach aphid M. persicae 7, 14, and 21 d after application [22].

A vast number of species showing great potential as anti-insect agents belong to Sapindus genus.

These plants are mostly known for being rich in saponins, which provide plant extracts with biological activities in medicine as well as in pest control [23].

Comparative evaluation of the activity of the tested formulations showed that the addition of various components to P. pinnata oil did not result in synergistic effects. Nevertheless, they all had aphicidal activity for M. persicae adults and larvae. Moreover, they possess prolonged action, exerting a negative influence on the offspring.

When preparations are recommended for pest management programs, besides the biological efficacy, the absence of side effects related to beneficial species (pollinators and insect predators) and protected plants plays a significant role.

In practice, the field treatment with 1% Pongamia oil did not have a negative influence on insect pollinators: Hymenopterans—Apis florea, Apis dorsata, and so forth, Dipterans—Muscidae, Syrphidae, and so forth, other orders—Lepidoptera, Hemiptera, and Coleoptera [24]. A high concentration of formulations we applied, (maximum 3%, at practical application, the most commonly used concentrations for formulations of plant insecticides are 0.5–1%) did not cause burns of plants (beans and peppers). In addition, the single treatment with these formulations provides significant reduction in the number of aphids during the observation period, because of the efficiency rising in time.

Thus, the high activity of the formulations with Pongamia pinnata oil against the green peach aphid, absence of negative effects on pollinators, and phytotoxicity may be used as a basis for the study of their effects on complex arthropods, damaging crops in greenhouses, for inclusion in the integrated pest management program.

Conflict of Interests

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interests regarding the publication of this paper.


This study was supported by Grants from the Czech Republic Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (LH11133).


  1. A. Prakash and J. Rao, Botanical Pesticides in Agriculture, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Fla, USA, 1997.
  2. S. K. Okwute, “Plants as potential sources of pesticidal agents: a review,” in Pesticides—Advances in Chemical and Botanical Pesticides, chapter 9, pp. 207–232, InTech, Rijeka, Croatia, 2012. View at: Google Scholar
  3. M. B. Isman, “Botanical insecticides, deterrents, and repellents in modern agriculture and an increasingly regulated world,” Annual Review of Entomology, vol. 51, pp. 45–66, 2006. View at: Publisher Site | Google Scholar
  4. K. Tiilikkala, I. Lindqvist, M. Hagner, H. Setala, and D. Perdikis, “Use of botanical pesticides in modern plant protection,” in Pesticides in the Modern World—Pesticides Use and Management, pp. 259–272, InTech, Rijeka, Croatia, 2011. View at: Google Scholar
  5. C. Regnault-Roger, “The potential of botanical essential oils for insect pest control,” Integrated Pest Management Reviews, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 25–34, 1997. View at: Google Scholar
  6. W.-I. Choi, E.-H. Lee, B.-R. Choi, H.-M. Park, and Y.-J. Ahn, “Toxicity of plant essential oils to Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae),” Journal of Economic Entomology, vol. 96, no. 5, pp. 1479–1484, 2003. View at: Google Scholar
  7. E. Sertkaya, K. Kaya, and S. Soylu, “Acaricidal activities of the essential oils from several medicinal plants against the carmine spider mite (Tetranychus cinnabarinus Boisd.) (Acarina: Tetranychidae),” Industrial Crops and Products, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 107–112, 2010. View at: Publisher Site | Google Scholar
  8. R. Pavela, “Insecticidal and repellent activity of selected essential oils against of the pollen beetle, Meligethes aeneus (Fabricius) adults,” Industrial Crops and Products, vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 888–892, 2011. View at: Publisher Site | Google Scholar
  9. M. Kumar and R. Singh, “Potential of Pongamia glabra vent as an insecticide of plant origin,” Biological Agriculture & Horticulture, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 29–50, 2002. View at: Publisher Site | Google Scholar
  10. R. Pavela, “Effectiveness of some botanical insecticides against Spodoptera littoralis Boisduvala (Lepidoptera: Noctudiae), Myzus persicae Sulzer (Hemiptera: Aphididae) and Tetranychus urticae Koch (Acari: Tetranychidae),” Plant Protection Science, vol. 45, no. 4, pp. 161–167, 2009. View at: Google Scholar
  11. A. J. Troncoso, R. R. Vargas, D. H. Tapia, R. Olivares-Donoso, and H. M. Niemeyer, “Host selection by the generalist aphid Myzus persicae (Hemiptera: Aphididae) and its subspecies specialized on tobacco, after being reared on the same host,” Bulletin of Entomological Research, vol. 95, no. 1, pp. 23–28, 2005. View at: Publisher Site | Google Scholar
  12. L. M. Fericean, I. Palagesiu, R. Palicica, A. M. Varteiu, and S. Prunar, “The behaviour, life cycle and biometrical measurements of Myzus persicae,” Research Journal of Agricultural Science, vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 34–39, 2011. View at: Google Scholar
  13. A. X. Silva, L. D. Bacigalupe, M. Luna-Rudloff, and C. C. Figueroa, “Insecticide resistance mechanisms in the green peach aphid Myzus persicae (Hemiptera: Aphididae) II: costs and benefits,” PLoS ONE, vol. 7, no. 6, Article ID e36810, 2012. View at: Publisher Site | Google Scholar
  14. W. S. Abbott, “A method of computing the effectiveness of an insecticide,” Journal of Economic Entomology, vol. 18, pp. 265–267, 1925. View at: Google Scholar
  15. D. J. Finney, Probit Analysis, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 3rd edition, 1977.
  16. R. Pavela and G. Herda, “Effect of pongam oil on adults of the greenhouse whitefly Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Homoptera: Trialeurodidae),” Entomologia Generalis, vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 193–201, 2007. View at: Google Scholar
  17. S. Clemente, G. Mareggiani, A. Broussalis, V. Martino, and G. Ferraro, “Insecticidal effects of Lamiaceae species against stored products insects,” Boletín de Sanidad Vegetal. Plagas, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 421–426, 2003. View at: Google Scholar
  18. E. Dezfouli, S. Moharramipour, and S. H. Goldasteh, “Ovicidal, larvicidal and oviposition deterrency effects of essential oil from Thymus vulgaris L. (Lamiaceae) on Callosobruchus maculatus (F.) (Col., Bruchidae),” Journal of Entomological Research, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 73–84, 2010. View at: Google Scholar
  19. I. Kalinović, J. Martinčić, V. Rozman, and V. Guberac, “Insecticidal activity of substances of plant origin against stored product insects,” Ochrana Rostlin, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 135–142, 1997. View at: Google Scholar
  20. H. Aroiee, S. Mosapoor, and H. Karimzadeh, “Control of greenhouse whitefly (Trialeurodes vaporariorum) by thyme and peppermint,” KMITL Science Journal, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 511–514, 2005. View at: Google Scholar
  21. Y. Huang and S. H. Ho, “Toxicity and antifeedant activities of cinnamaldehyde against the grain storage insects, Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) and Sitophilus zeamais Motsch,” Journal of Stored Products Research, vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 11–17, 1998. View at: Publisher Site | Google Scholar
  22. R. A. Cloyd, C. L. Galle, S. R. Keith, N. A. Kalscheur And, and K. E. Kemp, “Effect of commercially available plant-derived essential oil products on arthropod pests,” Journal of Economic Entomology, vol. 102, no. 4, pp. 1567–1579, 2009. View at: Publisher Site | Google Scholar
  23. M. Díaz and C. Rossini, “Bioactive natural products from Sapindaceae deterrent and toxic metabolites against insects,” in Insecticides—Pest Engineering, pp. 287–308, InTech, 2012. View at: Google Scholar
  24. H. Singh, R. Swaminathan, and T. Hussain, “Influence of certain plant products on the insect pollinators of coriander,” Journal of Biopesticides, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 208–211, 2010. View at: Google Scholar

Copyright © 2014 Elena A. Stepanycheva et al. 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.

Related articles

No related content is available yet for this article.
 PDF Download Citation Citation
 Download other formatsMore
 Order printed copiesOrder

Related articles

No related content is available yet for this article.

Article of the Year Award: Outstanding research contributions of 2021, as selected by our Chief Editors. Read the winning articles.