Cytotoxicity in the midgut and fat body of Anticarsia gemmatalis (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) larvae exerted by neem seeds extract
Keywords:neem, velvetbean, food intake, fat body, midgut
Botanical pesticides may be an alternative to the use of synthetic insecticides against agricultural pests and neem extracts have been successfully used against some insect pests. This study evaluated the effect of neem in biological and morpho-physiological parameters of the velvetbean caterpillar Anticarsia gemmatalis. The third instar larvae of A. gemmatalis were fed on artificial diet containing different concentrations of neem seed kernel extract (NSKE). The biological parameters were adversely affected after ingestion of the diet with neem extracts. Doses of more than 500 ppm of the NSKE in the diet caused 100 % mortality in the larvae of A. gemmatalis, whereas lower doses reduced food intake and reproductive capacity, and increased production of pupae with morphological deformities. The cells of the midgut epithelium of A. gemmatalis larvae showed swelling, basal membrane detachment and complete disruption after exposure to NSKE. In addition to the cytotoxicity effect observed in the fat body, the treatment reduced lipid and protein reserves. The NSKE negatively affected the physiological and biological parameters of A. gemmatalis.