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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CHEMISTRY OF NATURAL PRODUCTS FOR PEST MANAGEMENT AND CROP DEVELOPMENT

Location: Natural Products Utilization Research

Title: Activity of 1,4-Benzoquinones Against Formosan Subterranean Termites, Coptotermes formosanus

Authors
item Kobaisy, Mozaina - UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI
item Cantrell, Charles
item Mims, Amelia
item Lax, Alan
item Tellez, Maria - INTERSCIENCE INSTITUTE
item Osbrink, Weste

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 14, 2008
Publication Date: May 8, 2008
Citation: Kobaisy, M., Cantrell, C.L., Mims, A.B., Lax, A.R., Tellez, M., Osbrink, W.L. 2008. Activity of 1,4-Benzoquinones Against Formosan Subterranean Termites, Coptotermes formosanus. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 56:4021-4026.

Interpretive Summary: The Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus, an aggressive, invasive species, has caused billions of dollars in damage across the United States for the past 50 years. The diet of C. formosanus consists of anything that contains wood fiber (homes, buildings, live trees), crops, and plants. The removal of chlordane and other pest control agents in the late 80’s has led to a search for effective, environmentally friendly compounds with antitermite activity. In this paper, a large number of naturally occurring and synthetic benzoquinones were evaluated for activity against the Formosan subterranean termite with potential use in termite control. Among these bioactive naturally occurring benzoquinones are thymoquinone, primin, coenzyme Q1, aurantiogliocladin, and 2,3-dichloro-5,6-dimethyl-1,4-benzoquinone. All five of these compounds demonstrated 100 percent mortality against C. formosanus by day 11 at a concentration of 1 percent (wt/wt) or less.

Technical Abstract: A large number of naturally occurring and synthetic benzoquinones were evaluated for activity against the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus, with potential use in termite control. Among these bioactive naturally occurring benzoquinones are 2-methyl-5-isopropyl-1,4-benzoquinone, 2-methoxy-6-pentyl-1,4-benzoquinone, 2,3-dimethoxy-5-methyl-6-(3-methyl-2-butenyl)-1,4-benzoquinone, 2,3-dimethoxy-5,6-dimethyl-1,4-benzoquinone, and 2,3-dichloro-5,6-dimethyl-1,4-benzoquinone. All five of these compounds demonstrated 100 percent mortality against C. formosanus by day 11 at a concentration of 1 percent (wt/wt) or less. In general, benzoquinones with one or two hydrophobic groups on the 5 and/or 6 positions of the quinone ring along with one or two group(s) on the opposite side of the ring, at the 2 and/or 3 position, led to high rates of mortality against C. formosanus. Quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) studies showed no correlation between lipophilicity (calculated log P) and mortality for the entire group of non-halogenated benzoquinones. A correlation was observed between C-6 chain length and day 3 percent mortality for 2,3-dimethoxy-5-methyl-6-substituted aliphatic benzoquinones where short chain lengths resulted in higher mortality.

Last Modified: 7/12/2014
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