Analysis of the essential oil of Illicium henryi Diels root bark and its insecticidal activity against Liposcelis bostrychophila Badonnel

Xin Chao Liu, Zhi Long Liu
Journal of Food Protection 2015, 78 (4): 772-7
Water-distilled essential oil from Illicium henryi (Illiciaceae) root bark was analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Thirty-four compounds, accounting for 97.86% of the total oil, were identified. The main components of the essential oil of I. henryi root bark were safrole (46.12%), myristicin (20.39%), and 1,8-cineole (6.17%), followed by α-cadinol (3.784%) and linalool (3.22%). The essential oil had higher levels of phenylpropanoids (66.89%) than of monoterpenoids (14.83%) and sesquiternoids (16.14%). Three constituents were isolated from the oil based on bioactivity fractionation. The essential oil possessed fumigant toxicity against booklice (Liposcelis bostrychophila), with a 50% lethal concentration (LC50) of 380.39 μg/liter of air, while the two isolated constituents myristicin and safrole had LC50s of 121.95 and 322.54 μg/liter, respectively. Another constituent, 1,8-cineole, showed weaker toxicity, with an LC50 of 1,120.43 μg/liter. The essential oil also exhibited contact toxicity against L. bostrychophila, with an LC50 of 96.83 μg/cm(2). Myristicin (LC50, 18.74 μg/cm(2)) and safrole (LC50, 69.28 μg/cm(2)) exhibited stronger acute toxicity than 1,8-cineole (LC50, 1,049.41 μg/cm(2)) against the booklice. The results indicated that the essential oil and its constituent compounds have potential for development into natural insecticides for control of psocids in stored grains.

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