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Commercially Available Natural Benzyl Esters and Their Synthetic Analogs Exhibit Different Toxicities against Insect Pests.

Scientific reports (2018-05-23)
Yan Feng, Jian Chen, Aijun Zhang
ABSTRACT

Benzyl methyl ester, also known as methyl benzoate (MB), is a volatile organic compound that exists naturally as a floral fragrance in many plants. Our behavioral bioassays show that MB and some of its naturally occurring and synthetic analogs kill insects at different life stages. Compared to commercial pesticides containing pyriproxyfen and acetamiprid, MB and some analogs are 1.3 to 3.4 times more toxic to gypsy moth larvae and brown marmorated stinkbug nymphs. The arthropod repellent DEET is also a benzyl ester, and shares the same chemical skeleton with MB. They differ by the diethylamide ester and a methyl group on the benzene ring in DEET. However, unlike MB, DEET does not kill insects; instead, it deters or repels them. Exactly how DEET causes the repellent effect in target organisms is still a mystery. Due to the MB's structural similarity to DEET, exploring the structure - activity relationship (SAR) of the MB analogs will provide useful information for the discovery of the mode and mechanistic actions of DEET as an insect repellent. In addition, the SAR will allow researchers to modify the chemical structure of the MB molecule, leading to the development of more efficient, safe, and environmentally - friendly green pesticides.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Propyl benzoate, 99%
Sigma-Aldrich
Methyl 2-chlorobenzoate, ≥98%
Sigma-Aldrich
Vinyl benzoate, ≥99%, contains <=20 ppm Hydroquinone and/or <=50 ppm MEHQ as stabilizer
Sigma-Aldrich
Hexyl benzoate, FG
Sigma-Aldrich
Pentyl benzoate, AldrichCPR
Sigma-Aldrich
Methyl 3-methoxybenzoate, 97%