Secret Site Map
Sunday, December 21, 2014

Home News Scientists Identify Insect-repelling Compounds in Jatropha

Scientists Identify Insect-repelling Compounds in Jatropha

News Coverage

A tip about a folk remedy plant used in India and Africa to ward off bugs has led to the discovery of insect-repelling compounds.

| November 5, 2012

Chemist Charles Cantrell examines a burning dried male inflorescence from the breadfruit tree (Artocarpus altilis). People in Oceania routinely burned this plant to repel biting insects such as mosquitoes.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists have identified components of Jatropha curcas seed oil that are responsible for mosquito repellency. Researchers at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Natural Products Utilization Research Unit (NPURU) in Oxford, Miss., often find effective plant-derived compounds to deter insects by gathering plants in the wild and investigating those used in traditional folk remedies. ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency.

After learning that people in India burn J. curcas seed oil in lamps to keep insects out of their homes and other areas, NPURU chemist Charles Cantrell extracted smoke from the plant in a laboratory and analyzed its properties. Free fatty acids and triglycerides were among a number of active compounds found to be effective at preventing mosquitoes from biting.

Researchers have known for some time that fatty acids repel insects, but this was the first known report that identified triglycerides as having mosquito repellent activity, according to Cantrell.

Working closely with colleagues at ARS and the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi, Cantrell is exploring additional promising compounds from other plants. By combining these or similar compounds from other plants with those in Jatropha species, scientists might be able to develop a more effective product.

Read more about this and other research to protect U.S. troops from harmful insects in the November/December 2012 issue of Agricultural Research magazine.

 

Top news

Alpha Ecological Participates in Downtown Boulder’s Lights of December Parade

The parade featured floats from various local businesses, churches, and civic centers in the Boulder area.

Malden High Schools Collaborate with Yankee Pest Control in Mural Contest

Students from Walden, Mass., area high schools painted murals on the backside of Yankee Pest Control's building for a competition. Yankee generously paid for all of the paint supplies and tarps, and provided pizza and refreshments to all of the students each time they were on site.

PCT Announces Winner of 13th Annual Photo Contest

Mark VanderWerp, manager of education and training at Rose Pest Solutions, takes home top honors with his photo of a jumping spider perched on a “succulent” plant.

El Paso Truly Nolen Acquires Fox Pest Control

Truly Nolen expands its Texas footprint with the acquistion of Fox Pest Control, a well established company.

Florida PCO to Provide Three Free Bed Bug Jobs for Christmas

This Christmas season Keller's Pest Control, Bradenton, Fla., will reward three needy families free bed bug treatments, the Bradenton Herald reported.

x