Biological activity of saponins from alfalfa tops and roots against Colorado potato beetle larvae

Maryla Szczepaniak, Katarzyna Krystkowiak, Marian Jurzysta, Zbigniew Biały


The total saponins of alfalfa, Medicago sativa L., included in the diet of Colorado potato beetle larvae reduced their feeding, growth rate and survival. The biological activity of those compounds coming both from the roots and from the aerial parts is closely correlated with the dose. Larvae reared on leaves treated with a 0,5% dose virtually did not feed at all and died after 4-6 days. Lower saponin doses (0,01 and 0,001 %) reduced the insects' feeding to a lesser degree. However, they inhibited their growth, caused an extension of the larval stage and mortality at a level of 76,7- 100%. No major differences have been found in saponin activity depending on its localization in the plant.


Colorado potato beetle; saponins; alfalfa; Leptinotarsa decemlineata; Medicago sativa

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