Navigation Links
Natural insecticide re-created in the lab

Twenty-two years of dedicated research has finally resulted in success: In the journal Angewandte Chemie, a British team headed by Steven V. Ley at the University of Cambridge reports the first synthesis of azadirachtin, a natural compound that stops predatory insects from feeding.

Plants have a variety of defense mechanisms to deter insect attack. Investigation of these mechanisms often allows researchers to discover molecules with interesting biological properties. One such compound is azadirachtin, which was first isolated from the neem tree (also known as the Indian lilac) in 1968. The name of this natural product is derived from the botanical name of the plant, Azadiracta indica. Azadirachtin is a highly active substance that inhibits the development of the larvae of a broad spectrum of destructive insects but is harmless to mammals and beneficial insects, such as bees and ladybugs.

The structure of this complicated molecule was published in 1985, after a long, intensive research effort, but all attempts to make this compound have thus far been unsuccessful. The difficulty of the synthesis stems in part from the 16 stereocenters in the molecule, the complex pattern of oxygen-containing functional groups, and a conformation and reactivity that are strongly dependent on intramolecular bridging hydrogen bonds. The compound is highly light sensitive and can readily undergo structural rearrangement.

Ley and his team have been interested in solving the problem of the synthesis of this compound for 22 years. Their endurance has now been abundantly rewarded. The key steps in making this molecule involve a Claisen rearrangement and a novel radical cyclization reaction.

While we have been working on this complex synthesis, says Ley, we have also developed a number of new methods that are of general use for the construction of other important molecules. Ley expects that using the successful synthetic route will allow the development of simpler derivatives of azadirachtin that are stable and may lead to a new generation of environmentally acceptable insecticides.


Contact: Steven V. Ley
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Related biology news :

1. Genetically modified natural killer immune cells attack, kill leukemia cells
2. UCSD discovery may help extend life of natural pesticide
3. Insight into natural cholesterol control suggests novel cholesterol-lowering therapy
4. Genetically Modified Natural Killer Immune Cells Attack, Kill Leukemia Cells
5. UCLA scientists store materials in cells natural vaults
6. Man-made wetlands effectiveness similar to natural marsh
7. Natural Killers Could Lead to New Hepatitis Treatments
8. Researchers pioneer new gene therapy technique using natural repair process
9. Tsunami-damaged coral reefs should be left to recover naturally, say scientists
10. Natural tumor suppressor in body discovered by UCSD medical researchers
11. Naturally occurring asbestos linked to lung cancer
Post Your Comments:
(Date:5/3/2016)... 2016  Neurotechnology, a provider of high-precision biometric ... Biometric Identification System (ABIS) , a complete system ... ABIS can process multiple complex biometric transactions with ... fingerprint, face or iris biometrics. It leverages the ... MegaMatcher Accelerator , which have been used ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... and LONDON , April ... part of EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of ... today announced a partnership to integrate the Onegini ...      (Logo: ) ... their customers enhanced security to access and transact ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... April 15, 2016  A new partnership announced ... accurate underwriting decisions in a fraction of the ... priced and high-value life insurance policies to consumers ... With Force Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine ... readings (blood pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, and activity ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 2016 , ... UAS LifeSciences, one of the leading manufacturers ... Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. The company, which has been manufacturing high quality ... list of well-respected retailers. This list includes such fine stores as Whole Foods, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Charm ... Mold) microbial test has received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. , “This is ... last year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. “The ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software company, today announced ... has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. , “I am thrilled ... COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as a scientific integrator, Hays ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- On Wednesday, June 22, 2016, the NASDAQ ... Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.27% lower to finish at ... has initiated coverage on the following equities: Infinity Pharmaceuticals ... NKTR ), Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ARLZ ... Learn more about these stocks by accessing their free trade ...
Breaking Biology Technology: