Involvement of ligninlike compounds in toxicity of dietary alder leaf litter against mosquito larvae

J Chem Ecol. 2001 Jan;27(1):161-74. doi: 10.1023/a:1005632403561.


The toxicological characteristics of dietary decomposed alder leaf litter against mosquito larvae were further investigated through enzymatic and chemical purification of a phenoliclike cell-wall fraction isolated from crude litter. The toxicity of the subfractions obtained was controlled by standard bioassays on third instars of Aedes aegypti chosen as a reference target species. Enzymatic hydrolyses of the cell-wall fraction were performed with caylase, pectolyase, esterase, and beta-glycosidase, in order to release, respectively, cellulose material and phenolic compounds bound to lignins. These treatments did not affect the larvicidal activity and the phenolic activity of the cell-wall fraction. Chemical alkaline and acid hydrolyses were carried out to break ester and glycosidic bonds of the cell-wall fraction. Comparison of HPLC profiles of the hydrolysates from both toxic and nontoxic fractions did not reveal differences between the phenolic acids released. Aluminum chloride, known for its phenolic complexing activity, counteracted the larvicidal activity of the cell-wall fraction. Altogether, these results suggest the involvement of ligninlike compounds in the toxicity of dietary alder leaf litter against larval mosquitoes. The toxicity of this fraction, which was very sensitive to drastic and smooth oxidations, seemed to be associated with a strong oxidative potential. These results are discussed in relation to a possible mode of action of lignins in the plant-mosquito interactions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aedes / drug effects*
  • Animals
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Cell Wall / chemistry
  • Larva / drug effects
  • Lignin / toxicity*
  • Mosquito Control*
  • Phenols / metabolism
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Trees / chemistry*


  • Phenols
  • Lignin
  • Catalase