Insecticide and Fungicide Effects of Betel, Piper betle L. Volatile Oil on Selected Cotton Pests


A.D. Solsoloy, E.O. Domingo, N.D. Cacayorin and M.C. Damo

Cotton Research Center, Cotton Development Administration
Batac, 2906 Ilocos Norte



Piper betel

The cover is the leaves of betel, Piper betle L. (Ilokano, gawed; Tagalog, ikmo), normally known by rural people as an ingredient for mastication along with tobacco. It can be one of the abundant sources of botanical pesticide. This plant is a tropical, perennial, woody and glabrous climbing vine reaching a height of 2 to 4 meters or even beyond, depending on where it is attached. It has flowers (right image) that closely resemble those of the black pepper, P. nigrum


The crude volatile oil (CVO) from betel, Piper betle L. leaves, obtained by steam distillation, was yellowish brown with strong peculiar aromatic odor. Its petroleum ether- (VO/PE) and dichloromethane-extracted (VO/DCM) fractions derived by liquid-solid chromatography indicated insecticide and fungicide effects on selected cotton pests.

Bioassay on selected cotton pests showed that CVO, its fractions and the formulated volatile oil (FVO) effectively controlled sucking pests of cotton, specifically, Aphis gossypii and Amrasca biguttula. These also acted as ovicide against Helicoverpa armigera and Pectinophora gossypiella. Oviposition of P. gossypiella was deterred particularly by VO/PE.

In the laboratory, the extracts effectively inhibited growth of Sclerotium rolfsii, Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. vasinfectum and Rhizoctonia solani, in that order. However, CVO was more effective than any of its fractions.

Through GC-EI-MS analysis, the fractions generally contained monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes, notably allylpyrocatechol, eugenol, phenols, cineol, cadinene and menthone as active substances.

Initial field evaluation showed that FVO reduced H. armigera population, however, at a lower rate than deltamethrin or profenofos. It was more effective than deltamethrin against A. gossypii but least against A. biguttula. Although the commercial insecticides were better, yet, the commendable properties of FVO i.e. contact toxicity and relative safety to the natural enemies should be considered. In this regard, it is recommended that further field studies across locations and for two cropping seasons be conducted to ascertain the pesticide efficacy of the material.





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