The use of Clausena anisata in insect pest control in Africa : a review

25 Jan 2017

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE : Clausena anisata is used traditionally by various communities across Africa against pests such as mosquitoes, flies and weevils among others. Pests are a major cause of disease and production losses in various crop and livestock production systems in Africa. This review discusses the available information on the occurrence, chemistry, biological activity and possible commercialization of Clausena anisata with a view to see the plant species being integrated in pest management. MATERIALS AND METHODS : Information on the ethnomedical use, chemistry and biological activity of C. anisata published between 1980 and 2016 was accessed from various databases namely Science Direct, Springer Link and Wiley Online Library. In addition various relevant books were also consulted. RESULTS : The crude extracts as well as different fractions of C. anisata have been evaluated for activity against various insect pests and have been shown to be active. Furthermore, close to 50 compounds have been isolated and identified from C. anisata, which include coumarins, carbazole alkaloids, limonoids and essential oils (monoterpenes). Some of these compounds have been proven to exhibit pesticidal properties in both laboratory and field studies against various pests including mosquitoes, flies and weevils. The possible mechanisms of action of these compounds have been explored in this review. CONCLUSION : The results of pesticidal and hytochemical screening of C. anisata strongly indicate that the species is endowed with pesticidal properties that can be harnessed into commercial products. However, one glaring challenge in the evaluation of this plant species for pesticidal activity has been the non-availability of standard testing systems. Researchers have used various methods which they developed based on their own circumstances and resources. Formulation, standard appropriate testing systems and agronomic research are key in unlocking the potential of this important African species.