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Withania somnifera acts as a potential insect growth regulator in the polyphagous pest, Pericallia ricini

Sandeep Kumar Gaur and Krishna Kumar*

Department of Zoology, University of Allahabad, Allahabad 211002, India

 

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Received: August 21, 2017

Accepted: November 14, 2017

 

Abstract

Both seed and root extracts of the medicinal plant, Ashwagandha, Withania somnifera exhibit insect growth regulatory activity against the polyphagous pest, Pericallia ricini. Topical administration of W. somnifera seed and root extracts to last instar larvae of P. ricini disrupted moulting and metamorphosis, leading to a number of developmental abnormalities such as delay in larval-pupal and pupal-adult ecdysis, formation of larval-pupal, pupal-adult and larval-pupal-adult mosaics/chimeras, ecdysial failure, suppression of pupation and adult emergence and formation of abnormal pupae and adultoids. The treatment with seed extracts was more severe than that of root extracts as it completely suppressed the pupation and adult emergence. The results clearly suggest that the medicinal plant, W. somnifera acts as a potential insect growth regulatory (IGR) disrupting the moulting and metamorphosis as a consequence of interference with the endocrine system.

Key words: adultoids, Ashwagandha, chimeras, ecdysial stasis, hairy caterpillar

 
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