The importance of the double bonds in the furan ring of avocadofurans with relation to their insecticidal activity was examined. The insecticidal activity of two naturally occurring avocadofurans, 2-(pentadecyl)furan and 2-(heptadecyl)furan, was compared to the toxicity of five tetrahydrofurans with alkyl chains at position 2 and varying side chains from 14 to 18 carbons. We found that eliminating the sites of unsaturation in the furan ring of avocadofurans significantly reduced the detrimental effects on the mortality and growth of the generalist insect herbivore Spodoptera exigua. In 7-day bioassays, S. exigua larvae were significantly more affected when fed a diet containing avocadofurans as compared to a larvae fed diet treated with the analogous tetrahydrofurans. Although larvae fed with the tetrahydrofurans showed reduced growth as compared to controls, larval mortality was not significantly increased. We conclude that the double bonds in the furan ring of avocadofurans play an important role in their insecticidal effects.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)