Morphological and immunohistochemical study of the midgut and fat body of Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) treated with essential oils of the genus Piper.
Essential oils are a promising alternative to insecticides. We investigated the LD50 of oils extracted from Piper corcovadensis, P. marginatum, and P. arboreum after 48 h topical contact with Spodoptera frugiperda larvae using morphometry, histochemistry and immunohistochemistry of the midgut and fat body. Chromatography revealed that E-caryophyllene was the principal compound common to the Piper species. The essential oils of P. corcovadensis, P. marginatum and P. arboreum caused deleterious changes in the midgut of S. frugiperda larvae. P. corcovadensis oil produced the lowest LD50 and significant histopathological alterations including elongation of the columnar cells, formation of cytoplasmic protrusions, reduction in carbohydrate, increased apoptotic index and decreased cell proliferation. P. arboreum oil caused histopathological alterations similar to P. corcovadensis, but caused the highest rate of cell proliferation and increased regenerative cells, which indicated rapid regeneration of the epithelium. Our findings demonstrated the insecticidal potential of P. corcovadensis for control of S. frugiperda owing to the significant damage it inflicted on S. frugiperda midgut.