Leaves and seeds extracts of Vitex agnus castus L., an ecological and effective alternative to conventional insecticides against fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Plant Biotechnologies, Ibn Zohr University, B.P 8106, Agadir, Morocco

2 Department of Science and Technology, Biotechnology Analytical Sciences and Quality Control Team, Polydisciplinary Faculty of Taroudant, Ibn-Zohr University, Taroudant 83000, Morocco

3 Department of Plant Protection, National Institute for Agricultural Research B.P. 124, Agadir Morocco

4 Department of Biology, National School of Applied Sciences, Ibn Zohr University, B.P 8106, Morocco



The objective of this work is to investigate the insecticidal activity of Vitex agnus castus (VAC; Lamiales: Lamiaceae) essential oils and organic extracts against the species Ceratitis capitata L. adults (Diptera: Tephritidae). Extraction of the essential oils from the leaves and seeds of the plant was carried out using hydro-distillation while organic extracts were obtained using the Soxhlet apparatus. The principal compounds of essential oils were 1, 8-cineol, α-pinene, β-farnesene and β-caryophyllène for leaves and 1, 8-cineole, sabinene, α-pinene, and β-farnesene for seeds. The insecticidal activity was determined by evaluating the adulticidal effect using direct contact application methods. Our extracts from leaves and seeds of VAC presented toxicity in Ceratitis capitata adults. Responses varied based on the type of extract, plant part, and exposure time. The good insecticidal activity was achieved by essential oils from leaves and seeds. The lethal concentration values (LC50) were 0.660 mg mL-1 and 6.170 mg mL-1 after 24 h of incubation respectively. Thus, the essential oils from The VAC leaves and seeds exhibited insecticidal activity in Ceratitis capitata and can be used as an alternative to the control of these dipterans. Organic extracts from The VAC leaves and seeds showed moderate insecticidal activity against Ceratitis capitata after a long time of incubation. Prospective studies of these oils are needed on cytotoxicity, mutagenicity, and genotoxicity in human cells, in addition to the in vitro safety of these essential oils in human cells for safe use.


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