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Carvacrol derivatives with potential insecticidal activity

Synthetic pesticides have been used for decades to manage pest control in crops, in order to avoid considerable damage and production losses due to pathogens, insects and other pest species. Nowadays, because of environmental and health issues, synthetic pesticides are being gradually replaced by botanical pesticides. Essential oils (EOs), plant’s secondary metabolites of low molecular weight and strong organoleptic properties, have been investigated as resources of potentially useful bioactive compounds, and it is known that they have an important role in the interactions between insects and plants. Carvacrol, a phenolic compound that is the main component in oregano essential oil, displays antimicrobial, antifungal, and insecticidal activities.

Considering these facts, the present investigation is focused on synthesis of new carvacrol derivatives possessing aliphatic carbon chains with different sizes as hydroxyl group substituents. All compounds were fully characterized by the usual analytical techniques, and their insecticide activity against the insect cell line Sf9 (Spodoptera frugiperda) was evaluated, to assess the potential application of these new derivatives as biopesticides.

Keywords: Carvacrol; Natural synthetic derivatives; Biopesticides; Essential oils