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Conjugated linoleic acid as a novel insecticide targeting the agricultural pest Leptinotarsa decemlineata

By Justin Clements, Russell L. Groves, JoAnn Cava, Caroline Barry, Scott Chapman, Jake M. Olson

Posted 25 Jul 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/715011 (published DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0220830)

The Colorado Potato Beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata, is a major agricultural pest of solanaceous crops in the United States. Historically, a multitude of insecticides have been used to control problematic populations. Due to increasing resistance to insecticides, novel compounds and methodologies are warranted for the control of beetle populations. Mixed-isomer conjugated linoleic acid has been studied in-depth for its beneficial properties to mammalian systems. At the same time, studies have demonstrated that conjugated linoleic acid can manipulate fatty acid composition in non-mammalian systems, resulting in embryo mortality. Consequently, experiments were conducted to assess the effects of foliar-applied conjugated linoleic acid on larval growth, embryogenesis, and feeding preference in Colorado potato beetle. Both maternal and deterrent effects of dietary conjugated linoleic acid were assessed. Conjugated linoleic acid demonstrated desirable insecticidal properties, including increased larval mortality, slowed larval development, antifeedant effects, and decreased egg viability after maternal ingestion.

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