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Activity of medium chain oxygen-containing aliphatic compounds against Bursaphelenchus spp.
1 , 2 , 2 , 2 , 3, 4 , * 5, 6
1  Instituto Superior de Agronomia (ISA), Universidade de Lisboa, 1349-017 Lisboa, Portugal
2  Centro de Química Estrutural, DQB, Faculdade de Ciências, Campo Grande, 1749-016, Lisboa, Portugal
3  INIAV, I.P., National Institute for Agrarian and Veterinarian Research, Quinta do Marquês, 2780-159 Oeiras, Portugal
4  GREEN-IT Bioresources for Sustainability, Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica, Universidade Nova de Lisboa (ITQB NOVA), Av. da República, 2780-157 Oeiras, Portugal
5  INIAV, I.P., National Institute for Agrarian and Veterinarian Research, Quinta do Marquês, 2780-159 Oeiras, Portugal.
6  MED, Mediterranean Institute for Agriculture, Environment and Development & CHANGE—Global Change and Sustainability Institute, Institute for Advanced Studies and Research, Évora University, Pólo da Mitra, Ap. 94, 7006-554 Évora, Portugal
Academic Editor: Julio A. Seijas


The pinewood nematode (PWN), Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, the causal agent of pine wilt disease (PWD), is a threat to Pinus forests in Asia and Europe. Bursaphelenchus mucronatus and B. fraudulentus are closely related to the PWN, sharing morphological traits and tree hosts. However, they are considered non-pathogenic when compared to the PWN. Pest management often includes the trunk injection of pesticides, yet, many formulations have been discontinued for presenting ecological and human health concerns. Furthermore, most pesticides are non-specific, affecting non-target organisms, including beneficial microbes. In the present work, four medium chain aliphatic alcohols (C10 to C13) were evaluated in direct contact bioassays against B. xylophilus, B. mucronatus and B. fraudulentus, to assess possible specificity in nematicidal activity. Compounds activity was determined from corrected mortality values obtained after 24-hour long bioassays using serial dilutions of each compound, with a dilution factor of two, from 1.0 to 0.0038 mg/mL. The compounds showed a high nematicidal activity against all Bursaphelenchus species tested. Moreover, the lowest half maximal effective concentrations (EC50) were determined for B. fraudulentus, suggesting a higher sensibility to these compounds. Based on EC50 values, the Bursaphelenchus species showed slightly different response patterns to the series of aliphatic alcohols used. Further bioassays will include compounds with different chain lengths and functional groups to explore the diversity in the activity of oxygen-containing aliphatic compounds for a more targeted sustainable control strategy for the PWN.

Keywords: biopesticides; Bursaphelenchus fraudulentus; Bursaphelenchus mucronatus; Bursaphelenchus xylophilus; nematicides; pinewood nematode