© 2018 Shu, Zhang, Cui, Sun, Yi and Zhong. Azadirachtin, the environmentally friendly botanical pesticide, has been used as an antifeedant and pest growth regulator in integrated pest management for decades. It has shown strong biological activity against Spodoptera litura, but the mechanism of toxicity remains unclear. The present study showed that azadirachtin inhibited the growth of S. litura larvae, which was resulted by structure destroy and size inhibition of the midgut. Digital gene expression (DGE) analysis of midgut suggested that azadirachtin regulated the transcriptional level of multiple unigenes involved in mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and calcium apoptotic signaling pathways. Simultaneously, the expression patterns of some differentially expressed unigenes were verified by quantitative real time-PCR (qRT-PCR). In addition, the enhanced terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase biotin-dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) staining, the increased expression of caspase family members and apoptosis-binding motif 1 (IBM1) on both gene and protein level and the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria to cytoplasm were induced in midgut after azadirachtin treatment. These results demonstrated that azadirachtin induced structural alteration in S. litura larval midgut by apoptosis activation. These alterations may affect the digestion and absorption of nutrients and eventually lead to the growth inhibition of larvae.
Shu, B., Zhang, J., Cui, G., Sun, R., Yi, X., & Zhong, G. (2018). Azadirachtin affects the growth of Spodoptera litura Fabricius by inducing apoptosis in larval midgut. Frontiers in Physiology, 9(FEB). https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2018.00137