Background: Solanaceae plants produce glycoalkaloids (GAs) that affect various physiological processes of herbivorous insects and they are being tested as potential alternatives for synthetic pesticides. They cause lethal and sublethal effects. Nevertheless, their mode of action remains unclear. Therefore, we examined the effects of Solanum nigrum fruit extracts and pure glycoalkaloids on a model beetle, Tenebrio molitor. Methods: Plant extracts or pure alkaloids were added to the food of the larvae for three days. The lipid, glycogen, and protein content in the fat body and the midgut were determined, and the contractility of the heart, hindgut, and oviduct muscles was tested using the video-microscopy technique. Finally, the ultrastructure of the fat body and the midgut was observed using electron microscopy. Results: No lethal effects were noted. Sublethal changes were observed in the content of biomolecules, malformations of organelles, chromatin condensation, and heart and oviduct contractility. The observed effects differed between the tested glycoalkaloids and the extract. Conclusions: Both the extract and pure GAs have a wide range of effects that may result in impaired development, food intake, and reproduction. Some early effects may be used as bioindicators of stress. The effects of the extract and pure alkaloids suggest that the substances produced by the plant may act additively or synergistically.

Sublethal Effects of Solanum nigrum Fruit Extract and Its Pure Glycoalkaloids on the Physiology of Tenebrio molitor (Mealworm)

Lelario, Filomena;Bufo, Sabino A;
2018-01-01

Abstract

Background: Solanaceae plants produce glycoalkaloids (GAs) that affect various physiological processes of herbivorous insects and they are being tested as potential alternatives for synthetic pesticides. They cause lethal and sublethal effects. Nevertheless, their mode of action remains unclear. Therefore, we examined the effects of Solanum nigrum fruit extracts and pure glycoalkaloids on a model beetle, Tenebrio molitor. Methods: Plant extracts or pure alkaloids were added to the food of the larvae for three days. The lipid, glycogen, and protein content in the fat body and the midgut were determined, and the contractility of the heart, hindgut, and oviduct muscles was tested using the video-microscopy technique. Finally, the ultrastructure of the fat body and the midgut was observed using electron microscopy. Results: No lethal effects were noted. Sublethal changes were observed in the content of biomolecules, malformations of organelles, chromatin condensation, and heart and oviduct contractility. The observed effects differed between the tested glycoalkaloids and the extract. Conclusions: Both the extract and pure GAs have a wide range of effects that may result in impaired development, food intake, and reproduction. Some early effects may be used as bioindicators of stress. The effects of the extract and pure alkaloids suggest that the substances produced by the plant may act additively or synergistically.
2018
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11563/168134
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