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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Modified Vetiver Oil: Economic Biopesticide

Authors
item Chauhan, Kamal
item Raina, Ashok - ARS-SRRC

Submitted to: Natural Products for Pest Management
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: January 27, 2005
Publication Date: April 1, 2006
Citation: Chauhan, K.R., Raina, A. Modified vetiver oil: economic biopesticide. Natural Products for Pest Management. ACS Symposium series 927, 210-219.

Interpretive Summary: Vetiver plant oil is a complex mixture of compounds, some of which are potent biopesticides. Commercial insecticides and repellents with less mammalian toxicity are desirable for pestiferous insects. Isolation or chemical synthesis is currently the only viable approach to obtain these natural products, but this is not economically practical. Our approach is to modify vetiver oil, enriching the desired products, thereby alleviating the need for their isolation. Simple chemical modification (such as oxidation or reduction) is used to target different compounds present in vetiver oil so that the end product is directly useful for pest control. Modified vetiver oil exhibited enhanced potency compared to natural vetiver oil against the Formosan subterranean termite, for example. Modified vetiver oil is a new user-and environmentally-friendly candidate biopesticide. This information will be useful for pest management companies committed to utilizing natural products as renewable sources in their products.

Technical Abstract: Vetiver oil is obtained from Vetiveria zinzanoides L., a grass that can be found in both tropical and subtropical parts of the world. The roots of this grass on steam distillation yield an essential oil, mainly consisting of sesqiterpenes (3-4 %), sesquiterpenols (18-25%) and sesquiterpenones (7-8%). In this report we demonstrate that, sesquiterpenones and structurally related compounds exhibiting potent insecticidal activities can be enriched (35-50%) by simple chemical modification of vetiver oil. Initial studies and results utilizing modified vetiver oil for antifeedant and repellency against Formosan subterranean termite are discussed.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014
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