Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Insect-repelling compounds discovered in folk remedy plant, Jatropha

Date:
November 5, 2012
Source:
United States Department of Agriculture - Research, Education and Economics
Summary:
A tip about a folk remedy plant used in India and Africa to ward off bugs has led to the discovery of insect-repelling compounds. Scientists have identified components of Jatropha curcas seed oil that are responsible for mosquito repellency.

ARS chemist Charles Cantrell has identified the first mosquito-repelling triglyceride, which he found in Jatropha curcas seed oil, a folk remedy commonly burned in lamps in Africa and India to drive off bugs.
Credit: ARS photo unit

A tip about a folk remedy plant used in India and Africa to ward off bugs has led to the discovery of insect-repelling compounds.

Related Articles


U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists have identified components of Jatropha curcas seed oil that are responsible for mosquito repellency. Researchers at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Natural Products Utilization Research Unit (NPURU) in Oxford, Miss., often find effective plant-derived compounds to deter insects by gathering plants in the wild and investigating those used in traditional folk remedies. ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency.

After learning that people in India burn J. curcas seed oil in lamps to keep insects out of their homes and other areas, NPURU chemist Charles Cantrell extracted smoke from the plant in a laboratory and analyzed its properties. Free fatty acids and triglycerides were among a number of active compounds found to be effective at preventing mosquitoes from biting.

Researchers have known for some time that fatty acids repel insects, but this was the first known report that identified triglycerides as having mosquito repellent activity, according to Cantrell.

Working closely with colleagues at ARS and the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi, Cantrell is exploring additional promising compounds from other plants. By combining these or similar compounds from other plants with those in Jatropha species, scientists might be able to develop a more effective product.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by United States Department of Agriculture - Research, Education and Economics. The original article was written by Sandra Avant. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

United States Department of Agriculture - Research, Education and Economics. "Insect-repelling compounds discovered in folk remedy plant, Jatropha." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121105140205.htm>.
United States Department of Agriculture - Research, Education and Economics. (2012, November 5). Insect-repelling compounds discovered in folk remedy plant, Jatropha. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121105140205.htm
United States Department of Agriculture - Research, Education and Economics. "Insect-repelling compounds discovered in folk remedy plant, Jatropha." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121105140205.htm (accessed March 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, March 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) — Using motion tracking technology, researchers from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) are trying to establish an optimum horse riding style to train junior jockeys, as well as enhance safety, health and well-being of both racehorses and jockeys. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bear Cubs Tumble for the Media

Bear Cubs Tumble for the Media

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) — Two Andean bear cubs are unveiled at the U.S. National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Alicia Powell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

AFP (Mar. 25, 2015) — Experts are gathering in Botswana to try to end the illegal wildlife trade that is decimating populations of elephants, rhinos and other threatened species. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Elephants Help Keep 18-Wheeler From Toppling Over

Elephants Help Keep 18-Wheeler From Toppling Over

Newsy (Mar. 25, 2015) — The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff&apos;s Office discovered two elephants keeping a tractor-trailer that had gotten stuck in some mud upright on a highway. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins