The conservation and sustainable management of Annona coriacea requires knowledge of its floral and reproductive biology, and of its main pollinators and their life cycles. In this work, we analyzed these aspects in detail. Floral biology was assessed by observing flowers from the beginning of anthesis to senescence. The visiting hours and behavior of floral visitors in the floral chamber were recorded, as were the sites of oviposition. Excavations were undertaken around specimens of A. coriacea to determine the location of immature pollinators. Anthesis was nocturnal, starting at sunset, and lasted for 52–56 h. The flowers were bisexual, protogynous and emitted a strong scent similar to the plant´s own ripe fruit. There was pronounced synchrony among all floral events (the period and duration of stigmatic receptivity, release of odor, pollen release and drooping flowers) in different individuals, but no synchrony in the same individuals. All of the flowers monitored were visited by beetle species of the genera Cyclocephala and Arriguttia. Beetles arrived at the flowers with their bodies covered in pollen and these pollen grains were transferred to the stigmata while foraging on nutritious tissues at the base of the petals. With dehiscence of the stamens and retention within the floral chamber, the bodies of the floral visitors were again covered with pollen which they carried to newly opened flowers, thus promoting the cycle of pollination. After leaving the flowers, female beetles often excavated holes in the soil to lay eggs. Larvae were found between the leaf litter and the first layer of soil under specimens of A. coriacea. Cyclocephala beetles were the main pollinators of A. coriacea, but Arriguttia brevissima was also considered a pollinator and is the first species of this genus to be observed in Annonaceae flowers. Annona coriacea was found to be self-compatible with a low reproductive efficiency in the area studied. The results of this investigation provide ecological data that should contribute to the conservation and economic exploitation of A. coriacea.
Acetogenins are secondary metabolites exclusively produced by Annonaceae, which have antitumor, cytotoxic, and pesticide activities. In this study, we evaluated the larvicidal and cytotoxic effect of squamocin from Annona squamosa on Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) midgut. The compound was solubilized in 2% Tween 20 at 10, 20, 50, 80 and 100 ppm. The assay was conducted in a completely randomized design with four replications, each with 20 third-instar larvae. Larval mortality was assessed every hour until total mortality, and the data were subjected to Probit analysis. Cellular damage was evaluated every 30 min in groups comprising five larvae subjected to squamocin at 50 and 100 ppm for 240 min. The total larval mortality occurred after 360 min following application of 50, 80, and 100 ppm squamocin, and 600 min after applying other concentrations with LC50 at 6.4 ppm. Both 50 and 100 ppm of squamocin showed cytotoxic activity in the midgut epithelium of A. aegypti after 240 min with 50 ppm resulting in midgut cells with light cytoplasm containing small vacuoles, whereas at 100 ppm were found cells with cytoplasm highly vacuolated, damaged apical surface and cell protrusion toward the gut lumen. In conclusion, squamocin has the potential to control A. aegypti.
We identified squamocin from A. mucosa seeds, which exhibited lethal action against A. aegypti and showed selectivity for non-target insects and low cytotoxicity to human cells. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.
Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) is considered a pest with high destructive potencial and its control depends mainly on successive applications of insecticides. Therefore, new alternatives for the control of the tomato leaf miner using plants with insecticidal potential have been examined. This study was aimed at evaluating the toxic effect of Annona mucosa extract on the developmental stages of T. absoluta. Larval survival bioassay was performed in which newly-hatched caterpillars were inoculated in tomato leaflets sprayed with A. mucosa extract in the LC50 and LC90 treatments and the insecticidal controls chlorfenapyr, methanol, and water. To identify the mode of action of the extract in caterpillars, histological analyzes of the integument and gut were carried out. To evaluate ovicidal activity and oviposition repellency, only the LC50 treatment and controls (water and methanol) were carried out. In the ovicidal bioassay 75 eggs/treatment were used, and for the oviposition repellency, 10 couples/treatment, with 10 replicates. In the larval survival bioassay, a significant difference among survival curves, and the crude extract of A. mucosa significantly reduced the survival of T. absoluta caterpillars. The mode of action of the extract occurred by contact and ingestion, as indicated by changes in the integument and gut. The extract of A. mucosa also interfered in the embryonic development of T. absoluta, with a viability of more than 90% of the eggs. Regarding the behavioral effect, the extract reduced oviposition rates of T. absoluta females. Thus, A. mucosa extract had toxic effects on the different stages of pest development.
Collard greens are commonly grown in family farming systems; however, damage caused by the diamondback moth Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) reduces yields, leading to successive applications of insecticides and consequently, environmental and toxicological problems. Therefore, it is essential to search for alternatives that reduce the use of pesticides and are economically viable and accessible to small farmers. This study was aimed at evaluating the insecticidal activity of aqueous extracts of neem and tobacco on P. xylostella. First instar caterpillars were offered collard leaf discs treated with different concentrations (30 caterpillars per treatment) and after the third day, mortality was evaluated. To evaluate ovicidal properties, collard leaves with 30 eggs were immersed in extracts and after 48 h, viability was measured. Oviposition deterrent activity was assessed with 23 couples of P. xylostella released in cages (repetitions) containing treated collard plants and after 48 h, the number of eggs per plant was recorded. Neem and tobacco extracts exhibited larvicidal, ovicidal, and oviposition deterrent properties against P. xylostella, indicating that the use of these extracts may be promising alternatives in family farming systems.
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