Botanical secondary metabolites as alternatives for pest management in Cuba

Oriela Pino, Yaíma Sánchez, Miriam M. Rojas, Fanny Jorge, Ana Buzzi, Cecil González, Daylen Turtos, Nerdys Acosta, Mayra Rodríguez, Dainé Hernández, Roberto E. Regalado, Lidia López, Mylene Corzo, Aleika Yglesia, María A. Martínez, Heyker L. Baños, Moraima Suris, Susana Ramírez, Adayakni Sánchez, Héctor Rodríguez, Yanebis Pérez, Reinaldo Chico, Yailén Arias, Ivonne González, Yuseli Hernández, Benedicto Martínez, Yanissia Duarte, Danay Infante, Teresa M. Correa, Dayamin Martínez, Rodney Montes de Oca, Georgina Berroa, Lazaro Cotilla, Belkis Peteira, Maria Fátima das Graças Fernandes da Silva, Edson Rodrigues Filho, Yasmin Akhtar, Murray B. Isman


Plants have historically been used in agricultural practices in Cuba; nevertheless, the Cuban flora has not yet been fully studied as a potential source of pesticides, partly due to its great diversity. At the National Centre for Animal and Plant Health (CENSA), systematic research on more than 100 plant species belonging to several families has been conducted in recent years. The protocol involves the establishment of bioassay conditions, the isolation and characterization of bioactive compounds, assessment of compatibility with other biological control agents, mode of action studies and the semi-synthesis of analogues using biotechnological techniques. Among the secondary metabolites studied, essential oils obtained from plants belonging to the families Piperaceae, Lamiaceae, Apiaceae, Rutaceae, and Myrtaceae stood out as a promising group due to their efficacy and spectrum of action under laboratory and semi-controlled conditions. As botanical pesticides, the main areas of use may include protected crops, nurseries, seed treatments in protected and field-grown crops, and in stored product pest management. The use of known botanicals and the identification of local candidates for developing phytosanitary products offer alternatives that may combine efficiency and safety for pest management in Cuban agriculture

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