Effect of lectins from Opuntia ficus indica cladodes and Moringa oleifera seeds on survival of Nasutitermes corniger
Biodegradation by termites is a serious problem for wood and crop industries worldwide, and new environmentally friendly alternatives for termite control have been developed. This work investigated the effects of crude and purified preparations containing lectins from Opuntia ficus indica cladodes (OfiL) and Moringa oleifera seeds (WSMoL and cMoL) on Nasutitermes corniger workers and soldiers. Purified OfiL was more active than cladode extracts, showing a stronger termiticidal activity against workers (LC50 of 0.116 mg ml−1) than against soldiers. OfiL was active against soldiers only at 1.5 mg ml−1. All preparations containing WSMoL and cMoL were active only at concentrations of 1.0 and 1.5 mg ml−1. The tested preparations did not exert repellent activity againstN. corniger. OfiL was able to kill workers and therefore is potentially a new tool forN. corniger control; as a consequence, this lectin could disturb organization, structure, and maintenance of termite colonies.