Synthesis and insecticidal evaluation of chiral neonicotinoids analogs: the laurel wilt case.
Xyleborus sp beetles are types of ambrosia beetles invasive to the United States and recently also to Mexico. The beetle can carry a fungus responsible for the Laurel Wilt, a vascular lethal disease that can host over 300 tree species, including redbay and avocado. This problem has a great economic and environmental impact. Indeed, synthetic chemists have recently attempted to develop new neonicotinoids. This is also due to severe drug resistance to "classic" insecticides. In this research, a series of neonicotinoids analogs were synthesized, characterized, and evaluated against Xyleborus sp. Most of the target compounds showed good to excellent insecticidal activity. Generally, the cyclic compounds also showed better activity in comparison with open-chain compounds. Compounds R-13, 23, S-29, and 43 showed a mortality percent of up to 73% after 12 h of exposure. These results highlight the enantioenriched compounds with absolute R configuration. The docking results correlated with experimental data which showed both cation-π interactions in relation to the aromatic ring and hydrogen bonds between the search cavity 3C79 and the novel molecules. The results suggest that these sorts of interactions are responsible for high insecticidal activity.