Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Natural Insecticide Re-Created in the Lab

22.08.2007
Success after 22 years of research: synthesis of azadirachtin

Twenty-two years of dedicated research has finally resulted in success: In the journal Angewandte Chemie, a British team headed by Steven V. Ley at the University of Cambridge reports the first synthesis of azadirachtin, a natural compound that stops predatory insects from feeding.

Plants have a variety of defense mechanisms to deter insect attack. Investigation of these mechanisms often allows researchers to discover molecules with interesting biological properties. One such compound is azadirachtin, which was first isolated from the neem tree (also known as the Indian lilac) in 1968. The name of this natural product is derived from the botanical name of the plant, Azadiracta indica. Azadirachtin is a highly active substance that inhibits the development of the larvae of a broad spectrum of destructive insects but is harmless to mammals and beneficial insects, such as bees and ladybugs.

The structure of this complicated molecule was published in 1985, after a long, intensive research effort, but all attempts to make this compound have thus far been unsuccessful. The difficulty of the synthesis stems in part from the 16 stereocenters in the molecule, the complex pattern of oxygen-containing functional groups, and a conformation and reactivity that are strongly dependent on intramolecular bridging hydrogen bonds. The compound is highly light sensitive and can readily undergo structural rearrangement.

... more about:
»Azadirachtin »insect »synthesis

Ley and his team have been interested in solving the problem of the synthesis of this compound for 22 years. Their endurance has now been abundantly rewarded. The key steps in making this molecule involve a Claisen rearrangement and a novel radical cyclization reaction.

“While we have been working on this complex synthesis,” says Ley, “we have also developed a number of new methods that are of general use for the construction of other important molecules.” Ley expects that using the successful synthetic route will allow the development of simpler derivatives of azadirachtin that are stable and may lead to a new generation of environmentally acceptable insecticides.

Author: Steven V. Ley, University of Cambridge (UK), http://leygroup.ch.cam.ac.uk/

Title: Synthesis of Azadirachtin: A Long but Successful Journey / A Relay Route for the Synthesis of Azadirachtin

Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2007, 46, No. 40, doi: 10.1002/anie.200703028

Steven V. Ley | Angewandte Chemie
Further information:
http://leygroup.ch.cam.ac.uk/
http://pressroom.angewandte.org

Further reports about: Azadirachtin insect synthesis

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Bioenergy cropland expansion could be as bad for biodiversity as climate change
11.12.2018 | Senckenberg Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseen

nachricht How glial cells develop in the brain from neural precursor cells
11.12.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

Im Focus: Substitute for rare earth metal oxides

New Project SNAPSTER: Novel luminescent materials by encapsulating phosphorescent metal clusters with organic liquid crystals

Nowadays energy conversion in lighting and optoelectronic devices requires the use of rare earth oxides.

Im Focus: A bit of a stretch... material that thickens as it's pulled

Scientists have discovered the first synthetic material that becomes thicker - at the molecular level - as it is stretched.

Researchers led by Dr Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds discovered a new non-porous material that has unique and inherent "auxetic" stretching...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

Expert Panel on the Future of HPC in Engineering

03.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electronic evidence of non-Fermi liquid behaviors in an iron-based superconductor

11.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Topological material switched off and on for the first time

11.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

NIST's antenna evaluation method could help boost 5G network capacity and cut costs

11.12.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>