Insecticidal and Acetylcholinesterase Inhibition Activity of Veratrum nigrum Alkaloidal Extract against the German Cockroach (Blattella germanica)

  • Xianghai Cai State Key Laboratory of Phytochemistry and Plant Resources in West China, Kunming Institute of Bota-ny, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
  • Qingfeng Li Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Shanghai, China
  • Lei Xiao Infinitus (China) Company Ltd, Guangzhou, China
  • Hailiang Lu Infinitus (China) Company Ltd, Guangzhou, China
  • Jian Tang Infinitus (China) Company Ltd, Guangzhou, China
  • Jianbo Huang Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Shanghai, China
  • Jianzhong Yuan Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Shanghai, China
Keywords: Insecticidal activity, Acetylcholinesterase inhibition, Veratrum nigrum, Medicinal plant, German cockroach


Background: Veratrum nigrum (Liliaceae) is perennial medicinal plant widely used to treat various conditions. To de­ter­mine its insecticidal properties against the German cockroach (Blattella germanica), several laboratory tests were car­ried out. Methods: A 4kg dry sample of V. nigrum root was purchased from the medicinal material market in Yunnan Province in 2015, China. In contact toxicity tests, V. nigrum alkaloidal extract was topically applied to the abdomen of cockroaches using a micro-applicator. In vitro acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity tests were performed using a modified Ellman method. Results: Veratrum nigrum alkaloidal extract was toxic to male adults and 4th nymphs cockroaches, with median lethal dose (LD50) values of 14.90µg/insect, 14.21µg/insect for adults and 41.45µg/insect, 39.01µg/insect for 4th nymphs after 24h and 48h exposure, respectively. There was a significant difference between adults and nymphs in terms of tolerance to V. nigrum alkaloidal extract. There was no significant difference in mortalities at 24h and 48h, the lethal effect of V. nigrum alkaloidal extract on German cockroach was quick. AChE activity tests showed that V. nigrum alkaloidal extract had an excellent inhibitory effect on AChE: inhibition in the 4th nymphs and male adults had 50% inhibiting concentra­tion (IC50) values of 3.56mg/ml and 5.78mg/ml respectively. The inhibitory effect of AChE activity was positively cor­related with inhibitory time (0–20min), at a concentration of 1mg/ml, inhibition of nymph and adult AChE activity had 50% inhibiting time (IT50) values of 8.34min and 16.75min, respectively. Conclusion: V. nigrum may be explored as a potential natural insecticide for control of the German cockroach.


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How to Cite
Cai X, Li Q, Xiao L, Lu H, Tang J, Huang J, Yuan J. Insecticidal and Acetylcholinesterase Inhibition Activity of Veratrum nigrum Alkaloidal Extract against the German Cockroach (Blattella germanica). J Arthropod Borne Dis. 12(4):414-20.
Original Article