Structural requirements for repellency: Norsesquiterpenes and sesquiterpenoid derivatives of nootkatone against the Formosan subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)
BACKGROUND: Research has shown that the family of grapefruit flavors called nootkatones have significant repellant and toxic effects to Formosan subterranean termites (Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki). RESULTS: Nineteen synthetic nootkatone derivatives, along with three commercially available nootkatone derivatives, were tested for repellent activity against C. formosanus by a choice assay in a petri dish with a two-step triage procedure. Based on the repellency threshold value, the relationships between structure and activity are discussed. CONCLUSION: Four derivatives of nootkatone have very high repellency and toxicity to C. formosanus, 9 times the potency of the primary compound nootkatone. Four other compounds have between 2 and 3 times the repellency of nootkatones, and three compounds are equal in their repellency to nootkatone. © 2010 Society of Chemical Industry.