The plant terpenoids encompass a diversity of structures and have many functional roles in nature, including protection against pest arthropods. Previous studies in this laboratory have identified naturally occurring sesquiterpenes contained in essential oils from two plants, amyris (Amyris balsamifera) and Siam-wood (Fokienia hodginsii), that are significantly repellent to a spectrum of arthropod pests. In efforts to further examine the biological activity of this class of compounds 12 of these plant-derived sesquiterpenes have been isolated, purified, and assayed for spatial and contact repellency against the yellow fever mosquito,Aedes aegypti. These data were used to develop quantitative structure−activity relationships that identified key properties of the sesquiterpene molecule, including electronic and structural parameters that were used to predict optimal repellent activity. There were notable similarities in the models developed for spatial repellency over five time points and for contact repellency. Vapor pressure was an important component of all repellency models. Initial levels of spatial repellency were also related to polarizability of the molecule and lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) energy, whereas the equation for late spatial repellency was dependent on other electronic features, including Mulliken population and electrotopological state descriptors. The model identified for contact repellency was the best fit and most significant model in this analysis and showed a relationship with vapor pressure, Mulliken population, and total energy.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/joel_coats/20/