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Brazilian Journal of Plant Physiology

versão On-line ISSN 1677-9452


RAMOS, Márcio V. et al. Latex fluids are endowed with insect repellent activity not specifically related to their proteins or volatile substances. Braz. J. Plant Physiol. [online]. 2011, vol.23, n.1, pp.57-66. ISSN 1677-9452.

Latex is an endogenous milky fluid synthesized and accumulated under pressure in a network of laticifer cells. In this study, latices from five plant species were examined for deterrent effect on oviposition of two Coleoptera (Bruchidae) pests. The latex from Euphorbia tirucalli, Calotropis procera and Plumeria rubrae exhibited deterrent activity on oviposition of both Callosobruchus maculatusand Zabrotis subfasciatus beetles. The latex from Cryptostegia grandiflora and Himathantus drasticus were less effective to C. maculatus and Z. subfasciatus oviposition, respectively. Eggs laid on latex-treated seeds were not affected.The emergence and the mean time of development and weight of larvae grown in treated seeds were similar to the controls. The deterrent activity of C. procera and P. rubra was dose and time-dependent for Z. subfasciatus rather than to C. maculatus. The deterrent effect was completely eliminated if the whole latices were fractionated in protein fractions, rubber and small metabolites. Exposing insects to crude latices did not alter ovipostion on untreated seeds. These RESULTSsuggest that latices possess deterrent activity on insect oviposition mediated by a repellent effect, but that proteins and volatile substances are probably not involved. The repellent-like activity can be considered as a defensive role played by these fluids that relies on the combined action of their components.

Palavras-chave : Calotropis procera; deterrent activity; insect; laticifers; proteins; Plumeria rubra.

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