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Evaluation of calcium-alginate gel as an artificial diet medium for bioassays on common cutworms

Morimoto, M., Matsuda, K., Ohta, Y., Ihara, T., Komai, K.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2004 v.52 no.15 pp. 4737-4739
Spodoptera litura, insect pests, plant pests, larvae, artificial diets, gels, alginates, bioassays, insecticidal properties, acephate, Bacillus thuringiensis, bacterial insecticides, rotenone, neem oil, quinones, antifeeding activity
A calcium-alginate gel diet was developed for Spodoptera litura larvae, and its reliability as a carrier for incorporating antifeedants as well as insecticides was investigated. The alginate gel diet was prepared with a simple protocol, which does not involve any heating process. When tested using this diet, acephate, a Bacillus thuringiensis endotoxin formulation and rotenone reproducibly showed insecticidal activity against the larvae, while neem oil and scabequinone deterred the larval feeding effectively. However, not only the insecticidal activity of acephate but also the antifeedant activity of neem oil was reduced by replacing the alginate component by agar in the diet, suggesting the usefulness of the alginate gel diet as an assay tool for testing a broad range of samples against the larvae.