Authors:Iwona Sprawka, Sylwia Goławska, A. Goławski, P. Czerniewicz, and H. Sytykiewicz
The insecticidal activity of plant lectins against a wide range of insect species have been intensively studied. Understanding the mechanism of the toxicity of lectins is one of the studied aspects. In the present research, the first step was determine the effect of phytohemagglutinin (PHA) on the development, fecundity and mortality of grain aphid. Next, the effect of PHA lectin on the activity of such enzymes as: α- and β-glucosidases, alkaline (AkP) and acid (AcP) phosphatases, aminopeptidase N and cathepsin L involved in the metabolism of sugar, phosphorus and proteins of an adult apterae aphids was investigated. The PHA lectin added into the liquid diet increased the pre-reproductive period, mortality of Sitobion avenae, the time of generation development and decreased its fecundity and the intrinsic rate of natural increase. In addition, activity of α-glucosidase, alkaline phosphatase and aminopeptidase N of adult apterae exposed to PHA were reduced. The results indicate that the insecticidal activity of PHA on S. avenae may involve changes in activity of the enzymes in the midgut and it may be part of its toxicity.