Journal of Pest Science (2018) 91:897–906
Stilbenes from grapevine root: a promising natural insecticide
against Leptinotarsa decemlineata
· Toni El Khawand
· Pierre Wao‑Teguo
· Alain Decendit
· Tristan Richard
· Roman Pavela
Received: 2 October 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published online: 1 February 2018
© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018
Stilbenes are phenolic compounds which are produced in large amounts in vine and are involved in plant defence as phyto-
alexins. Oligomeric forms have recently proven to be the most active compounds against a wide range of parasites such as
fungi, bacteria or algae. The aim of this study was to investigate the activity of a grapevine root extract which is a stilbene
oligomer pool against Leptinotarsa decemlineata, a major pest of Solanaceae crops. Analysis by UHPLC-DAD-MS of the
stilbene-enriched extract obtained from grapevine root (Riparia Gloire de Montpellier rootstock) highlighted twelve stilbenes
at 25% (w/w). The major stilbenes found in root extract were isolated such as the tetramers vitisin B, vitisin A and hopea-
phenol; the dimers ampelopsin A and E-ε-viniferin and the monomer E-resveratrol. The insecticidal eﬀects of this extract as
well as the main compounds were investigated against L. decemlineata larvae. The extract caused chronic toxicity, inhibited
larval development and, to a lesser extent, inhibited food intake. The high concentrations of vitisin A and vitisin B in grape-
vine root contributed to this eﬀect as they are the most toxic compounds. Outdoor pot experiments revealed the eﬃcacy of
stilbene-enriched extract with high mortality of L. decemlineata and protection of potato plants. The extract also revealed an
absence of toxicity against non-targeted organisms such as earthworms (Eisenia fetida). Thus, these results strongly suggest
that grapevine roots are a promising source of bioactive stilbenes for the development of natural insecticides.
Keywords Botanical insecticide · Solanaceae · Colorado potato beetle · Vine root extract · Stilbene · Vitisins
Stilbene-enriched extract from grapevine root was found
to contain twelve stilbenes, mainly tetramers as vitisin A
and vitisin B.
Root extract exhibited chronic toxicity, antifeedant ability
and growth inhibition in Leptinotarsa decemlineata lar-
vae. The most active compounds are vitisin A and vitisin
Root extract showed insecticidal activity against L.
decemlineata larvae in pot experiments as well as an
absence of eﬀect on non-targeted organisms such as
Grapevine root is an inexpensive source of bioactive
stilbenes and holds promising potential for developing
a natural safe insecticide.
Communicated by M.B. Isman.
Electronic supplementary material The online version of this
article (https ://doi.org/10.1007/s1034 0-018-0956-2) contains
supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
* Jean-Michel Mérillon
Faculté des Sciences Pharmaceutiques, Unité de Recherche
Œnologie EA 4577, USC 1366 INRA, Equipe Molécules
d’Intérêt Biologique (Gesvab) - Institut des Sciences de la
Vigne et du Vin, Université de Bordeaux, CS 50008 - 210,
Chemin de Leysotte, 33882 Villenave d’Ornon, France
Crop Research Institute, Research Team – Biologically
Active Substances in Crop Protection, Drnovska 507,
161 06 Prague 6 - Ruzyne, Czech Republic