Toxicity potential of heartwood extractives from two mulberry species against Heterotermes indicola
Choice and no-choice tests were run to evaluate natural resistance of the woods of two Morus species (Morus alba and Morus nigra) against the subterranean, by Heterotermes indicola under field conditions. Toxicity, antifeedant and repellency potential of the heartwood extractives was also investigated under laboratory conditions. Heartwood extractives were removed from wood shavings by using methanol or an ethanol: toluene (2:1) mixture. Results of choice and no-choice tests with sap and heartwood blocks exposed to termites, showed that both mulberry species were resistant to termites but in comparison. Morus alba wood was more resistant than Morus nigra to termite feeding as it showed <5 % weight loss after 90 days. Termites exhibited a concentration dependent mortality after exposure to either mulberry species’ heartwood extractives. The highest termite mortality occurred after termites were exposed to filter paper treated with Morus alba extractives at a concentration of 5%. . At this concentration, antifeedancy and repellency were calculated to be 91.67 and 84 %respectively. . Our results also showed that extractives from either mulberry species imparted resistance to vacuum-pressure treated non-durable Populus deltoides wood. Termite mortality was greater than 75 % after feeding on Populus deltoides wood treated with extractives from Morus alba. Solvent only (methanol) treated Populus deltoides controls, showed a minimum weight loss of 2.69 % after 28 days. These results suggest that Morus alba extractives have antitermitic properties and may be potentially useful in the development of environment friendly termiticides.
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