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Chemical Composition and Evaluation of Insecticidal Activity of Calendula incana subsp. maritima and Laserpitium siler subsp. siculum Essential Oils against Stored Products Pests

  • Autori: Basile S.; Badalamenti N.; Riccobono O.; Guarino S.; Ilardi V.; Bruno M.; Peri E.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2022
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


The problems of the environment and human health related to the use of synthetic and broad-spectrum insecticides have increasingly motivated scientific research on different alternatives and among these, the use of green systems, such as essential oils, have been explored. Several species of the Apiaceae and Asteraceae families, aromatic herbs rich in secondary bioactive metabolites, are used in the industrial field for pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food purposes. Different essential oils extracted from some species of these families have shown acute toxicity and attractive and/or repellent effects towards different insects. In our work, we investigated the toxic potential of Calendula incana subsp. maritima and Laserpitium siler subsp. siculum essential oils against four insect species, Sitophilus oryzae, Lasioderma serricorne, Necrobia rufipes, and Rhyzoperta dominica, which are common pests of stored products. The composition of both oils, extracted by hydrodistillation from the aerial parts of the two plants, was evaluated by GC×GC-MS. Calendula incana subsp. maritima essential oil was rich in oxygenated sesquiterpenoids, such as cubebol (35.39%), 4-epi-cubebol (22.99%), and cubenol (12.77%), while the Laserpitium siler subsp. siculum essential oil was composed mainly of monoterpene hydrocarbons, such as β-phellandrene (42.16%), limonene (23.87%), and β-terpinene (11.80%). The toxicity Petri dish bioassays indicated that C. maritima oil killed a mean of 65.50% of S. oryzae and 44.00% of R. dominica adults, indicating a higher biocidal activity in comparison with L. siculum oil, while toward the other species, no significant differences in mortality were recorded. Calendula maritima oil could be, then, considered a promising candidate for further tests as an alternative biocide toward S. oryzae and R. dominica. The possibility that the relatively high content of oxygenated sesquiterpenoids in C. maritima essential oil determines its higher biocidal activity is discussed.