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Insecticidal Active Rotenoids from Plant Parts and Callus Culture of Medicago sativa L. from a Semiarid Region of India (Rajasthan)

[ Vol. 16 , Issue. 6 ]


Sharad Vats* and Preeti Mehra   Pages 937 - 941 ( 5 )


Background: Vector-borne diseases are quite prevalent globally and are one of the major causes of deaths due to infectious diseases. There is an availability of synthetic insecticides, however, their excessive and indiscriminate use have resulted in the emergence of resistant varieties of insects. Thus, a search for novel biopesticide has become inevitable.

Methods: Rotenoids were isolated and identified from different parts of Medicago sativa L. This group of metabolites was also identified in the callus culture, and the rotenoid content was monitored during subculturing for a period of 10 months. Enhancement of the rotenoid content was evaluated by feeding precursors in a tissue culture medium.

Results: Four rotenoids (elliptone, deguelin, rotenone and Dehydrorotenone) were identified, which were confirmed using spectral and chromatographic techniques. The maximum rotenoid content was found in the seeds (0.33±0.01%), followed by roots (0.31±0.01%) and minimum in the aerial parts (0.20±0.05%). A gradual decrease in the rotenoid content was observed with the ageing of subcultured tissue maintained for 10 months. The production of rotenoids was enhanced up to 2 folds in the callus culture using amino acids, Phenylalanine and Methionine as precursors as compared to the control. The LC50 value of the rotenoids was found to be 91 ppm and 162 ppm against disease vectors of malaria and Dracunculiasis, respectively.

Conclusion: The study projects M. sativa as a novel source of biopesticide against the disease vectors of malaria and Dracunculiasis. The use of precursors to enhance the rotenoid content in vitro can be an effective venture from a commercial point of view.


Medicago sativa L., rotenoids, precursors, biopesticide, insecticides, mammalian toxicity.


Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Banasthali Vidyapith-304022, Rajasthan, Laboratory of Medicinal Plant Biotechnology, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur 302005, Rajasthan

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