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Structure–activity relationships of monoterpenes and acetyl derivatives against Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) larvae


Correspondence to: Arun K Tripathi, Plant Protection Division, Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, PO CIMAP, Lucknow 226016, India. E-mail:



Dengue fever virus transmitted by Aedes aegypti causes lethal mortalities of human beings, and, because of the lack of any vaccine, management of this vector, especially with phytochemicals, is essential. In the present investigation, the structure–activity relationship of monoterpenes and their acetyl derivatives was studied to identify structural features that are responsible for mosquitocidal activity.


Derivatization of monoterpenes (eugenol, geraniol, linalool, L-menthol and terpeniole) followed by structure–activity relationship studies identified all five acetyl derivatives as having enhanced mosquitocidal activity against fourth-instar larvae of Aedes aegypti. Acetylation of the hydroxyl group in general increased activity in comparison with hydroxyl compounds. Based on LC50 values (ppm), the activities could be placed in the following order: eugenyl acetate (50.2) > linalyl acetate (119.7) > terpinyl acetate (287.1) > menthyl acetate (308.4) > geranyl acetate (325.5), as compared with monoterpenoids: eugenol (82.8) > linalool (242.6) > terpineol (331.7) > L-menthol (365.8) > geraniol (415.0). In eugenyl acetate, the presence of an aromatic ring and a side chain with an allylic double bond makes it most effective.


Bioactive functional groups identified in the study may contribute to the understanding of larvicidal activity of acetyl derivatives and may help in the development of ecofriendly mosquito larvicidal compounds. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry