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This study aims to develop eco-friendly botanical pesticides. Dried fruits of star anise (Illicium verum Hook.f. (Austrobaileyales: Schisandraceae)) were extracted with methyl alcohol (MA), ethyl acetate (EA), and petroleum ether (PE) at 25°C. The constituents were determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, and the repellency and contact toxicity of the extracts against Sitophilus zeamais Motschulsky (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) adults were tested. Fortyfour compounds, whose concentrations were more than 0.2%, were separated and identified from the MA, EA, and PE extracts. The extraction yields of trans-anethole, the most abundant biologically active compound in I. verum, were 9.7%, 7.5%, and 10.1% in the MA, EA, and PE extracts, respectively. Repellency increased with increasing extract dose. The average repellency rate of the extracts against S. zeamais adults peaked at 125.79 μg/cm2 72 hr after treatment. The percentage repellency of the EA extract reached 76.9%, making it a class IV repellent. Contact toxicity assays showed average mortalities of 85.4% (MA), 94.5% (EA), and 91.1% (PE). The EA extract had the lowest median lethal dose, at 21.2 μg/cm2 72 hr after treatment. The results suggest that I. verum fruit extracts and trans-anethole can potentially be developed as a grain protectant to control stored-product insect pests. Other active constituents in the EA extract merit further research.
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