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Toxic and Repellent Effects of Volatile Phenylpropenes from Asarum heterotropoides on Lasioderma serricorne and Liposcelis bostrychophila



Type of Spiritual Experience



Lasioderma serricorne, commonly known as the cigarette beetle, cigar beetle, or tobacco beetle, is an insect around 2–3 mm long, and brown in colour. The beetles, which can fly, live 2–6 weeks and do not feed as adults. L. serricorne has uniformly serrated antennae of 11 segments and has weak ‘punctures’ on the surface of the wing covers (elytra).

The female beetle lays around 100 eggs loosely on the substrate to be fed upon. The larvae are active and will move around on and bore into the product, feeding as they go. The complete life cycle takes 26 days at 37 °C and 120 days at 20 °C. L. serricorne cannot tolerate the cold; adults die within 6 days at 4 °C, and eggs survive 5 days at 0–5 °C.

The beetles carry a symbiotic yeast, Symbiotaphrina kochii, that is transmitted to the next generation superficially on the eggs and carried internally in larvae and adults in the mycetome, a specialized organ that is linked to the gut. The yeast cells assist in the digestion of less nutritious foods, supply needed B-vitamins and sterols, and provide resistance to certain toxin

Liposcelis bostrychophila is a species of booklouse in the family Liposcelididae. It is known nearly worldwide as a common pest of stored products. It is especially prevalent in cereals.  This insect is about a millimeter long, brown in color, and wingless

A description of the experience

Molecules. 2018 Aug 24;23(9). pii: E2131. doi: 10.3390/molecules23092131.
Toxic and Repellent Effects of Volatile Phenylpropenes from Asarum heterotropoides on Lasioderma serricorne and Liposcelis bostrychophila.
Wang Y1, Guo S2, Cao J3,4, Pang X5, Zhang Z6, Chen Z7, Zhou Y8, Geng Z9,10, Sang Y11, Du S12.
Toxic and repellent effects of the essential oil from Asarum heterotropoides Fr. Schmidt var. mandshuricum (Maxim.) Kitag. were evaluated against Lasioderma serricorne and Liposcelis bostrychophila.

The essential oils (EOs) from roots (ER) and leaves (EL) of A. heterotropoides were obtained separately by hydrodistillation and characterized by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis. Major components of ER and EL included methyleugenol, safrole, and 3,5-dimethoxytoluene. Both ER and EL of A. heterotropoides showed certain toxicity and repellency against L. serricorne and L. bostrychophila.

3,5-Dimethoxytoluene, methyleugenol, and safrole were strongly toxic via fumigation to L. serricorne (LC50 = 4.99, 10.82, and 18.93 mg/L air, respectively). Safrole and 3,5-dimethoxytoluene possessed significant fumigant toxicity against L. bostrychophila (LC50 = 0.83 and 0.91 mg/L air, respectively).

The three compounds all exhibited potent contact toxicity against the two insect species. Here, the EL of A. heterotropoides was confirmed to have certain toxicity and repellency against stored product insects, providing a novel idea for the comprehensive use of plant resources.

Asarum heterotropoides; Lasioderma serricorne; Liposcelis bostrychophila; phenylpropenes; repellency; toxicity

The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Asarum genus