Lynamicin B is a Potential Pesticide by Acting as a Lepidoptera-Exclusive Chitinase Inhibitor

J Agric Food Chem. 2021 Dec 1;69(47):14086-14091. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.1c05385. Epub 2021 Nov 19.


Insect group h chitinase is a promising target for designing non-target safe pesticides in that it is exclusively distributed in lepidopteran insects, over 80% of which are agricultural pests. In this work, lynamicin B was discovered to be an inhibitor of OfChi-h, the group h chitinase from the lepidopteran pest Ostrinia furnacalis. Lynamicin B was revealed to competitively inhibit OfChi-h with a Ki value of 8.76 μM and does not significantly inhibit other chitinases. The co-crystal structure of lynamicin B and OfChi-h revealed that the dichloroindolyl group of lynamicin B occupies an unexplored pocket below subsites +1 and +2 of the substrate-binding cleft, which is vital for its selectivity. Feeding experiments demonstrated that lynamicin B exhibited high insecticidal activities against other lepidopteran pests Mythimna separata and Spodoptera frugiperda besides O. furnacalis. Moreover, lynamicin B did not affect Trichogramma ostriniae, a natural enemy of O. furnacalis. This study provides a natural-derived potent pesticide for the control of lepidopteran pests, leaving its natural enemy unaffected.

Keywords: chitinase; inhibitor; insecticide; integrated pest management; natural enemy.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chitinases* / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Indole Alkaloids / pharmacology*
  • Insecticides* / pharmacology
  • Moths*


  • Indole Alkaloids
  • Insecticides
  • Chitinases