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Use of neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) as a biopesticide in agriculture: A review

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Neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) is a member of Meliaceaefamily, a fast-growing tropical evergreen plant whose products were found effective against economically important insect pests and diseases. All parts of this plant particularly leaf, bark, and root extracts have the biopesticidal activities. Azadirachtin, abiopesticideobtained from neem extract, can be used for con-trolling various insect pests in agriculture. It acts oninsectsby repelling them, by inhibiting feeding, and by disrupting their growth, and reproduction. Neem-based formulations do not usually killinsectsdirectly, but they can alter their behavior in significant ways to reducepestdamage to crops and reduce their reproductive potential. The neem is considered as an eas-ily accessible, eco-friendly, biodegradable, cheap, and non-toxic biopesticide which control the target pests. Thus, this re-view highlighted the extract, byproducts and roles of neem that can be used as potential biopesticide in agriculture.
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JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURE AND APPLIED BIOLOGY
2020, Vol. 1, No. 2, 100 117
http://dx.doi.org/10.11594/jaab.01.02.08
How to cite:
Adhikari, K., Bhandari, S., Niraula, D., & Shrestha, J. (2020). Use of neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) as a biopesticide in
agriculture: A review. Journal of Agriculture and Applied Biology, 1 (2), 100 117. doi: 10.11594/jaab.01.02.08
Review Article
Use of neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) as a biopesticide
in agriculture: A review
Kripa Adhikari1*, Sudip Bhandari1, Dikshya Niraula1 and Jiban Shrestha2
1Tribhuvan University, Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, Prithu Technical College,
Deukhuri, Dang, Nepal
2Nepal Agricultural Research Council, National Plant Breeding and Genetics Research Centre,
Khumaltar, Lalitpur, Nepal
Article history:
Submitted 21 November 2020
Accepted 12 December 2020
Published 28 December 2020
Keywords:
Azadirachtin
Pesticide
Insect
Pest
Abstract
Neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) is a member of Meliaceae
family, a fast-growing tropical evergreen plant whose products
were found effective against economically important insect
pests and diseases. All parts of this plant particularly leaf, bark,
and root extracts have the biopesticidal activities. Azadirachtin,
a biopesticide obtained from neem extract, can be used for con-
trolling various insect pests in agriculture. It acts on insects by
repelling them, by inhibiting feeding, and by disrupting their
growth, and reproduction. Neem-based formulations do not
usually kill insects directly, but they can alter their behavior in
significant ways to reduce pest damage to crops and reduce
their reproductive potential. The neem is considered as an eas-
ily accessible, eco-friendly, biodegradable, cheap, and non-
toxic biopesticide which control the target pests. Thus, this re-
view highlighted the extract, byproducts and roles of neem that
can be used as potential biopesticide in agriculture.
*Corresponding author:
E-mail:
kripaadhikary9@gmail.com
Introduction
Pesticides are the chemical substances that
are used to decimate, repulse, prevent, and con-
trol the pests creating nuisances and help to in-
crease the yield in agricultural sector (Kumar et
al., 2012). The increasing population has exag-
gerated the use of synthetic pesticides to fulfill
their demand for food which have been proven
hazardous to biotic and abiotic factors (Macin-
tosh, 2017). The report presented by World
Health Organization (WHO) and United Nation
Environment Programme UNEP clarifies that
pesticides are responsible for poisoning
around three million people and causing
around 200,000 deaths each year, worldwide,
more cases (95%) being reported in develop-
ing countries (World Health Organization,
1990; Yadav et al., 2015). The attractive veggies
in the markets are grown with the heavy use of
chemical pesticides. The risk associated with
excessive usage of chemical pesticide had
caused unpredicted environmental issues, in-
secticide resistance, pest resurgence, and
health hazards on the plant and soil that are
recognized as an ecologically unacceptable ac-
tivity (Damalas & Eleftherohorinos, 2011).
K Adhikari et al., 2020 / Use of neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) as a biopesticide in agriculture
JAAB | Journal of Agriculture and Applied Biology 101 Volume 1 | Number 2 | December | 2020
These days all the concern has been provided
towards the organic, safe, and non-toxic pesti-
cides that could replace the synthetic ones
(Acharya et al., 2017). Biopesticides are the al-
ternative way to the synthetic pesticides and
naturally derived preparations or formulations
that control pests by non-toxic mechanisms in
an eco-friendly manner (Gupta & Dikshit,
2010). They are educed from plants, animals,
microbes, safe, and safe to the environment
(Mazidet et al., 2011). Biopesticide circum-
scribes multiple pest control strategies, plant-
deduced pesticides (botanicals), microbial (vi-
ral, bacterial or fungal), entomophagous nema-
todes, secondary metabolites from microbes
(antibiotics), insect pheromones used for mat-
ing disruption and genetical modification to ex-
press resistances to various pest attacks (Cop-
ping & Menn, 2000). Among various biopesti-
cides, neem (Azadirachta indica) has emerged
as a highly reliable source of biopesticides (Ra-
izada et al., 2001). It is on the top list among
2400 botanicals used as biopesticide world-
wide.
Neem (Azadirachta indica) is highly ex-
ploited recognized as “Life giving tree”, “Village
pharmacy”, “Divine tree”, “sacred offering of
nature” with having several valuable proper-
ties (Hossain & Nagooru, 2011; Kumar &
Navartnam, 2013). It is such an amazing plant
which has been declared the “Tree of the 21st
century” by the United Nations (UNEP, 2012).
The Neem or Margosa tree may attain a height
of 30 m and have a girth of 2.5 m (Rangiah &
Gowda, 2019). Neem can tolerate intense
drought, poor soil, and even shallow soils be-
cause of its deep root system and can thrive in
a sub-humid to sub-arid climate with an annual
rainfall of 400800 mm (Schmutterer, 1990).
Each part of the neem plant like seeds, leaves,
roots, barks, and flower are known to have fun-
gicidal, insecticidal, and nematicidal properties
(Bajwa & Ahmad, 2012). Among all, leaves and
seed extract of neem have been most widely
used because of their deleterious effects on in-
sect pests (Nathan et al., 2008). The leaves of A.
indica contains carbohydrates (48-58%), pro-
tein (14-18 %), crude fibre (11-24%), ash (7.7-
8.5%), crude fat (2.3-6.9%), calcium (0.8-2.4%)
and phosphorus (0.13-0.24%), numerous of
amino acids, as well as carotenoids and other
constituents (Debashri & Tamal, 2012). Neem
oil cake contains high amount of Sulphur and
neem oil is rich in fatty acid (Schmuttere,
2002). Sugars and polysaccharides have also
been identified and isolated from the gum and
bark of A. indica (Fulekar, 2005). The biologi-
cally active compounds present on Neem are
over and above 100 compounds (Benelli et al.,
2015) to the total of 300 compounds found till
now (Gosse et al., 2005). In an experiment con-
ducted by Tripathi et al. (2020), Neem was used
as botanical pesticide in controlling insect pest
of cucurbits in Lamjung district of Nepal.
Various biochemical products like Nimbo-
lide, Margolone, Mahoodin, Margolonone, etc.
More than of exceeding 60 biochemical prod-
ucts been purified from neem (Krishnaiah et al.,
2007; Olabinri et al., 2013). There are about
more than 540 species of major pests which are
considered vulnerable to the agricultural crops
belonging to the different orders of insects.
These orders include: Diptera, Hymenoptera,
Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, Orthoptera, and He-
miptera (Schmuttere et al., 2002; Khan et al.,
2015).
The benefits of neem stated by Salako
(2002) such as: i) It is readily available and is
relatively cheap; ii) The active compounds of
neem have brought a remarkable change in the
different stages of insect’s life cycle and physi-
ology making harder for pests to survive and
resist; iii) The action of neem is systemic due to
which plant protection is the foremost role
played by it and has been protecting rice,
maize, wheat, barley, sugarcane, tomatoes, cot-
ton, brinjal and other various crops, and vege-
tables for up to 10 weeks against the harmful
pests; iv) The large spectrum of insects are be-
ing controlled by Neem which includes even a
lice in human to armyworms, Locusta migato-
ria, pathogens like Meloidogyne root-knot nem-
atode, rhizoctonia root-rot fungus, and Rice
stunt virus in the fields (Anjorin et al., 2004); v)
It has no harmful effects to those organisms
which seem to be beneficial in the field. eg:
earthworm.
This review paper outlined the current
state of knowledge on the potential uses of
neem as a biopesticide in control of insect pests
in agriculture.
K Adhikari et al., 2020 / Use of neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) as a biopesticide in agriculture
JAAB | Journal of Agriculture and Applied Biology 102 Volume 1 | Number 2 | December | 2020
Major Neem Products
The major neem extract such as neem oil,
leaf extracts, bark extracts, and root extracts as
well as the by-product of neem i.e., neem cake
contain pesticidal properties and are used as
bio-pesticide, fungicide and organic manure
(Acharya et al., 2017). These extracts and by-
products can be used singly or can be mixed
with the other compounds to produce the final
products (Sara et al., 2004). These products
have the properties of antifungal, antibacterial,
antiviral, antidiabetic, anthelmintic, anti-car-
cinogenic, antiinflamatory, used as contracep-
tive and sedative (Acharya et al., 2017)
Neem Oil
Neem oil, the most important extract of
neem tree, is widely used worldwide for pest
control activities (Benelli & Pavela, 2018).
Neem oil is a better pesticide due to its repel-
lent, insecticidal, nematicidal, bactericidal, and
fungicidal activities (Pascoli et al., 2019). The
oil contains around 300 biologically active
compounds, most notably azadiractin - a triter-
pene (Chandramohan et al., 2016; Gupta et al.,
2017). The existence of terpenoid, limonoids,
and volatile sulphur containing compounds
makes Azadirachtin oil as a complex oil (Ricci
et al., 2009). The oil obtained from the seed
contains volatile oil and fatty acids in abundant
amount (Djenontin et al., 2012) whereas the oil
obtained from flower and leaves have lesser
number of volatile oils (0.08%), and these con-
sists of about 85% of caryophyllene. The oil ob-
tained from seed has been reported to have lar-
vicidal activity on mosquitoes (Dua et al.,
2009). It has been proved that the Neem oil as
an effective insecticide against various pests
like Scirpophaga incertulas (Madhu et al.,
2020), Nilaparvata lugens (Senthil-Nathan et
al., 2009), Cnaphalocrocis medinalis (Nathan et
al., 2006), Spodoptera frugiperda (Tavares et al.
2010), Helicoverpa armigera (Ahmad et al.,
2015), Idioscopus clypealis (Adnan et al. 2014),
Diaphorina citri (Weathersbee & McKenzie,
2005). Similarly, the spray of two neem formu-
lations neem seed oil, and azadirachtin were ef-
fective in causing the nymphal mortality of
Aphis glycines (80% by azadirachtin and 77%
by neem oil) (Kraiss & Cullen, 2008). Use of
neem oil causes lethal toxicity to the pupal
stage of insects which leads to several morpho-
logical deformations such as malformed adults,
partial ecdysis, and molt blocking, that defers
and inhibits adult formation (Boulahbel et al.,
2015).
Neem Seed Cake
Neem seed cake is the residue obtained af-
ter extracting the oil from seed kernels and can
be used as biopesticide as well as biofertilizer
(Chaudhary et al., 2017). It acts as a soil en-
richer, provides nutrients necessary for all
plant growth, deters on activity of soil pest and
bacteria and helps to increase the yield of
plants (Roshan & Verma, 2015). Neem cake not
only provides organic amendment to the soil
but also reduces the loss of nitrogen in the field
providing the essential nutrient and acts as a
biofertilizer for effective growth and develop-
ment of the plant (Ramachandran et al., 2007;
Lokanadhan et al., 2012). The chemical compo-
sition of cake include Azadirachtin, Nitrogen
(3.56%), phosphorous (0.83%), potassium
(1.67%), calcium (0.99%), and magnesium
(0.75%) (Rangiah & Godwa, 2019). Several 50
kg ripe fruits of neem having 30 kg of seeds ker-
nels provide 24 kg of seed cake. The use of
neem cake @ 200 g m-2 with arbuscular my-
chorrhiza fungus was effective on increasing
the plant height in okra, increased the phos-
phorous content in the field and was effective
in controlling the root knot nematode in okra
(Mohapatra et al., 2020). Similarly, Neem cake
@ 1 kg per vine is reported to be efficient
against nematode of black pepper (Sathyan et
al., 2020). However, it is recommended to use
neem cake @ 3 t ha-1 along with the use of FYM
in the field of spice crops like turmeric, ginger,
and large cardamom for increasing productiv-
ity (Das et al., 2018). The application of neem
cake @ 150 kg ha-1 is effective for the manage-
ment of soil borne pests in the staple crops like
rice and maize. Neem cake when applied to the
field is regarded as the best nutrient manage-
ment option in the crops like rice, maize, buck-
wheat, mustard, rapeseed, soybean, ginger, and
turmeric (Das et al., 2020). Neem cake was
found to be more effective than the leaf extracts
K Adhikari et al., 2020 / Use of neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) as a biopesticide in agriculture
JAAB | Journal of Agriculture and Applied Biology 103 Volume 1 | Number 2 | December | 2020
in case of detering fall army worm (Spodoptera
frugiperda) (Silva et al., 2015).
Neem Leaves
The biologically active compound present
on the neem leaves are alkaloids, glycosides,
tannins, flavinoids, reducing sugars, carbohhy-
drates, and steroids (Manikandan et al., 2008).
Neem leaves extract are the excellent source
for the preparation of vermi-compost which in-
crease soil fertility and also have pesticidal
properties (Chaudhary et al., 2017). Neem
leaves accelerates the growth and reproduc-
tion in earthworm when added while ver-
micomposting (Gajalakshmi & Abbasi, 2004).
Use of neem leaves protects stored grain by re-
pelling the stored grain pests and increasing
the post-harvest life (Ahmad et al., 2015).
Neem leaf powder @ 10 g concentration was
found to be effective on the stored rice weevil
(Jahan et al., 2019).
Crude water extracts of green neem leaves
@ 200 g of leaves per liter of water can be ef-
fective for controlling cabbage butterfly, soy-
bean hairy caterpillar and tobacco caterpillar
(Parajuli et al., 2020). Bhatta et al. (2019) con-
ducted an experiment in Lamjung, Nepal and
found that the plant aqueous extracts of Neem
(Azadiracta indica) reduced the aphid popula-
tion in Tori. Neem leaves are used in different
forms either grinded and made into powdered
form or with aqueous, methanolic or ethanolic
extracts (Kumar et al., 2019). In recent study,
the ethanolic extracts of neem leaves-based
seaweed films enhanced the anti-microbial ac-
tivity which made a sustainable packaging ma-
terial (Kumar et al., 2019). Similarly, the effect
of neem leaves extracts showed the inhibition
of biofilm of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Kaveri-
manian et al., 2020). Leaf extracts are found to
be effective on bean aphid (Bahar et al., 2007)
and it also reduced population of whitefly and
aphid on cabbage (Basedow et al., 2002; Zaki,
2008). The leaf extracts when mixed with the
garlic bulb were efficient to reduce aphids,
whiteflies destructing several crops (Pareet,
2006).
Neem Bark
The use of neem barks extracts as biopesti-
cide are not as popular as the seeds and leaves,
that have been used in an extensive way (Sirohi
& Tandon, 2014). It is found that the bark ex-
tracts when applied to the field acts as phyto-
toxic materials and showed germination and
growth inhibitor on rice, radish, carrot, sesame,
and bean demonstrating allelopathic proper-
ties (Xuan et al., 2004). Neem bark extract dyed
fabric was more significant than the leaf ex-
tracts due to the presence of higher aza-
dirachtin, cyanogenic glucosides, and nimbin
content and exhibited anti-lepidopteran
efficacy (Ahmad et al., 2015). A nano formula-
tion made to the concentration of 100 ppm
from the crude neem gum, collected from the
neem bark, showed 100% mortality against the
larva, pupa of Helicoverpa armigera and
Spodoptera litura in the field and reported the
antifeedant activities on them (Kamaraj et al.,
2017).
Neem Roots
Neem root extracts can be used either as
raw or in the powdered form or by extracting it
soil. The roots of neem tree have anti-bacterial,
anti-fungal, anti-septic properties (Lo-
kanadhan et al., 2012). Endophytic fungal flora
can also be isolated from the roots of the neem
tree (Verma et al., 2011). Nowdays, 361 fungi
and 80 bacterial endophytes have been isolated
from different parts including root and these
endophytes reduced the environmental mi-
crorganisms (Rangiah & Gowda, 2019). Ex-
tracts of root are used against the sucking in-
sects and fleas (Lokanadhan et al., 2012).
The effectiveness of various neem pesti-
cides on reducing the damage of various insect
pests in major cereal crops is given in Table 1.
K Adhikari et al., 2020 / Use of neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) as a biopesticide in agriculture
JAAB | Journal of Agriculture and Applied Biology 104 Volume 1 | Number 2 | December | 2020
Table 1. The effectiveness of neem pesticides against various food crops pests
SN.
Products used
Pests
References
1.
Handi Ausadha pot mixture
(5:l fermeted cow urine+ 1
kg fresh cow dung+ 1 kg
karanj leaves+ 1 kg neem
leaves+ 1 kg calotropis
leaves and 50g Gaur @
20mL L-1)
Reduce the incidence of pest
by yellow stem borer
(73.13%), Green leaf hopper
(75.12%), Gall midge
(69.93%), Dead heart and
white ear head (69.26%),
thrips (79.73%), and leaf
folder (85.57%).
(Mohapatra,
2018)
Multineem 300ppm @ 2.5 L
ha-1
Brown plant hopper, Yellow
Stem borer (Scirpophaga in-
certulas)
(Dash et al.,
2019)
Nimbecidine @ 5 mL L-1 W,
5mL L-1 of Neem oil
Brown plant hopper
(Nilaparvata lugens)
(Choudhary et
al., 2017)
2.
Local Neem
Sitophilus zeamais,
(Khanal et al.,
2019)
Aqueous Neem extract
@300 L ha-1
Corn ear worm (Heliothis
armigera)
(Udo & Ibanga,
2019)
Neem leaf extract @ 2 mL
L-1
Maize aphid (Rhoph-
alosiphum maidis)
(Alam et al.,
2019)
Neem oil and seed cake
Fallarmyworm (Spodoptera
furgiperda)
(Shaiba et al.,
2019)
3.
Neem Seed Kernel Extract
Wheat aphid (Raphalosi
phumpadi)
(Matharu &
Tanwar, 2019)
(Indoneem) 1500ppm @
1200 mL ha-1
3% Neem oil and neem
seed
Wheat aphid (Raphalosi
phumpadi)
(Bushra et al.,
2014)
K Adhikari et al., 2020 / Use of neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) as a biopesticide in agriculture
JAAB | Journal of Agriculture and Applied Biology 105 Volume 1 | Number 2 | December | 2020
The various neem products and their targets to control insect pests in horticultural crops is
given in Table 2.
Table 2. The various neem products for the control of insect pests in horticultural crops
S.N.
Crops
Products used
Pests
References
1.
Cabbage
3% concentration of Neem
Plutella xylostella
(Ahmad et al.,
2019)
2.
Cauli-
flower
Neem oil (58.26% and
57.89%), neem seed kernel
extract (54.83% and
55.24%), neem leaf extract
(50.70% and 51.42%)
Spodoptera litura
(Singh et al., 2019)
3.
Egg Plant
Neem oil
Leucinodes arbonalis
(Rakibuzzaman et
al., 2019)
4.
Potato
Neem oil and karanja oil in
ratio of 1:1, 1.4 L in 500 L
water ha-1 (0.3%).
Colorado potato bee-
tle
(Kovaříková &
Pavela 2019)
Neem oil 300ppm
Green peach aphid
(Myzus persicae)
(El-Wahab et al.,
2019)
5.
Tomato
Neem cake, leaves, and re-
fined product “aza” 0.1%
w/w
Root knot Nematode
(Javed et al., 2007)
Nursery bed treatment 3 kg
m-2
Root not nematode
(Illakwahhi & Sri-
vastava, 2019)
Neem oil: Abamectin @
100ppm 1:1 ratio
Tomato leaf miner
(Tuta absoluta)
(Javed et al., 2007)
6.
Okra
2% Neem seed extract
Jassid, White fly
(Aziz & Khoso,
2019)
Neem seed kernel extract 5%
white fly, Jassid and
Fruit borer
(Ketkar, 2000)
Soaking Okra seeds for 20-30
minutes in 5% aqueous solu-
tion of neem cake against
root-knot nematode.
Root-knot nematode
(Ketkar, 2000)
7.
Pumpkin
Neem seed kernel extract 5%
Red pumpkin beetle
(Ketkar, 2000)
8.
Cucumber
Neem extract
Two spotted spider
mite (Tetranychus
urticae Koch), Aphis
gossypii Glov.
(Saleem et al.,
2019)
9.
Ginger
Neem leaf powder @ 500 g
m-2
Rhizome rot
(Ketkar, 2000)
10.
Coriander
Kernel (5%), neem cake
(5%), neem oil (3%) and
neem leaf extract (5%)
Coriander aphid (Hy-
adaphis coriandari)
(Kumari & Yadav,
2002)
K Adhikari et al., 2020 / Use of neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) as a biopesticide in agriculture
JAAB | Journal of Agriculture and Applied Biology 106 Volume 1 | Number 2 | December | 2020
The various insect pests susceptible to neem products in leguminous crops is given in Table 3.
Table 3. The various neem products for the control of insect pests in Leguminous crops
S.N.
Crops
Products used
Pests
References
1.
Chickpea
5% Neem seed
kernel extract
Helicoverpa armigera
(Kumar et al., 2019)
2.
Greengram
Neem leaf powder
Callosobruchus maculatus
(Gupta et al., 2015)
3.
Cowpea
Neem seed Extract
Cow pea Bruchid
(Lale & Mustapha,
2000)
Neem + Metarhizium
anisople
Cowpea thrips
(Megolurothipss jostedti )
(Raoul et al., 2019)
4.
Pea
Neem seed kernel
extract
Pea aphid
(Melesse, 2012)
5.
Sorghum
2 % Neem oil
Sorghum shoot fly
(Atherigona soccata
Rondani)
(Joshi et al., 2016)
Ingredients Found in Neem
A broad number of active compounds have
been extracted from neem the major extracts
are divided into two constituents as terpenoids,
which include protolimonoids, limonoids,
pentatriterpenoids and hexatriterpenoids, and
non terpenoids as hydrocarbons, fatty acids,
steroids, phenols, flavonoids, and other
(Schmutterer, 1995).
Neem seed kernel contain significant
amount of limonoids where azadiracthin
(C35H44O16) is the most active one and the other
major limonoids are: salanin, meliantriol, and
nimbin that contain insecticidal and pesticidal
properties (Hashmat et al., 2012). Other bioac-
tive compounds present in neem includes, sa-
lannol, nimbin, nimbinin, nimbidin, nimbidiol,
3-tigloylazadirachtol (azadirachtin B), and 1-
tigloyl-3-acetyl1-hydroxymeliacarpin (Aza-
dirachtin D) (Mongkholkhajornsilp et al., 2005;
Morgan, 2009; Melwita & Ju, 2010). These com-
pounds are known to have an important role in
regulating the activities of pests.
More than 200 compounds can be extracted
from neem (Koul & Wahab, 2004), where aza-
dirachtin (Az) is the most active compound of
neem (Khan et al., 2015). It is the component of
neem oil, leaves, flowers, and fruits with insec-
ticidal properties (Akhtar et al., 2008). Aza-
dirachtin is found in several forms (A to K)
(Rangiah & Gowda, 2019). It is used as anti-vi-
ral, anti-fungal, antibacterial and insecticidal
residences for many years (Chopra et al., 1952).
Also, it is used as anti-feedant, anti-oviposi-
tional, anti-growth regulating, and anti-fecun-
dity properties for insects and various other ar-
thropods (Morgan, 2009). It consists of differ-
ent isomers AZ (A, B, C, D, E, F, G, I, J, and K)
where Az A is regarded as the most plentiful
and bio active compounds which shows repel-
lent, antifeedent, and insecticidal activity in op-
position to a number of insect pests and hence
Aza A is used for commercial insecticides (Bar-
celoux et al., 2008).
The neem seed kernel contains an average
of 2.05 6.10 g kg-1 of azadirachtin (Zongo et
al., 1993). However, azadirachtin content dif-
fers by varied factors including the extraction
process, climatic condition, and genetic factors
(Ismadji et al., 2012). Around 30-60 g of Aza-
dirachtin per hectare is enough for warding off
the major pests (Koul et al., 2004). The main
constituent of neem seed kernels extract is the
oil having insecticidal activity which contains
40% of azadirachtin i.e. the highest amount
than of all the other active compound (Morgan,
2009). Azadirachtin obtained from seed is used
as antifeedant, growth regulator, and as growth
inhibitors of the insects (Akthar et al., 2008).
Azadirachtin have various effects on the insects
and is effective for over 540 species of insects
K Adhikari et al., 2020 / Use of neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) as a biopesticide in agriculture
JAAB | Journal of Agriculture and Applied Biology 107 Volume 1 | Number 2 | December | 2020
that belongs to the order of Lepidoptera, Dip-
tera, Coleoptera, Homoptera, and Hemiptera
(Khan et al., 2015). Besides, having an insecti-
cidal properties azadirachtin is also have the
adverse effect against fungi, viruses, nema-
todes, and protozoans (Mordue, 2010). To a
greater extent, the content of Azadirachtin can
be increased by the treating it with Arbuscular
mycorrhizae (Venkateswarlu et al., 2008). Aza-
dirachtin containing tetran or triterpenoids is
like insects’ hormones "ecdysones" that plays
an efficient role as insect growth regulator that
deters the feeding habit of insects and inhibits
the ability of insect to molt as it changes from
pupa to adult and eventually disrupts the over-
all life cycle of insects (Rangiah & Gowda et al.,
2019). Azadirachtin is used as an organic bi-
opesticide repellent against thrips, whiteflies,
aphids, leaf miners, bugs, and varied number of
major pests.
The active ingredient azadirachtin was iso-
lated from the seeds of A. indica by David Mor-
gan (Butterworth & Morgan, 1968) and its full
structural determination was completed some
17 years later concurrently in the laboratories
of Steven Ley, W Kraus and K Nakanishi (Bilton
et al., 1987; Kraus et al., 1987; Turner et al.,
1987).
Table 4. The effects of azadirachtin against insect pests
Effects
Target
Mode of action
Primary antifeedancy
Mouthparts and other
chemoreceptorss
Deterrent cell stimulation, sugar cell
inhibition
Secondary antifeedancy
Guts
Peristalsis inhibited, enzyme prodcui-
ton reduced
Insect growth regulation
cuticle
Alteration to ecdysteroid and JH titres
by blockage of release of morphoge-
netic peptides leading to moulting de-
fects
Sterility
Reproductive organs
Alteration to ecdysteroid and JK titres
leading got reduction in number of via-
ble eggs and live progeny
Cellular processes
Dividing cells
Blockage of cell division post metphase
in meiosis and mitosis
Muscles
Loss of muscle tone
Cell synthetic machinery
Blockage of digestive enzyme produc-
tion in gut
Inhibition of protein synthesis in vari-
ous tissues
(Mordue & Nisbet, 2000)
The physiological effects of azadirachtin are
more consistent than the antifeedant effects,
and result from interference with growth and
molting, interference with reproduction and in-
terference with cellular processes (Table 4). In
all insect species tested dose response effects
be reduced growth, increased mortalities, ab-
normal molts, and delayed molts. These effects
are related to disruption of endocrine system
controlling growth and molting. The molting ef-
fects are due to a disruption in the synthesis
and release of ecdysteroids (molting hormone)
and other classes of hormones and this can be
demonstrated by accurately timed injections of
azadirachtin into the haemoulymph of 5th in-
star nymphs of L. migratoria (Mordue et al.,
1986).
K Adhikari et al., 2020 / Use of neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) as a biopesticide in agriculture
JAAB | Journal of Agriculture and Applied Biology 108 Volume 1 | Number 2 | December | 2020
Table 5. The effective dose (ED50) of insects to azadirachtin
Insect orders
Effective dose (ED50) which causes 50% inhibition feeding
Lepitoptera
1-50
Coleiptera
100-500
Hemiptera
100-500
Hymenoptera
100-500
(Mordue & Nisbet, 2000)
Insects from different Orders differ mark-
edly in their behavior responses to aza-
dirachtin (Table 5). Lepidoptera are extremely
sensitive to azadirachtin and show effective an-
tifeedancies from <1-50 ppm, depending upon
species. Coleoptera, Hemiptera, and Homop-
tera are less sensitive to azadirachtin behavior-
ally with up to 100% antifeedancy being
achieved at 100-500 ppm.
Mode and Specificity of Action of Neem
Oviposition Deterrents
Neem has an ovipositional deterrent activ-
ity on many pests that may deter economic
value of plants (Acharya et al., 2017). Applica-
tion of neem formulations has prevented the fe-
males from depositing eggs (Roshan & Verma,
2015). Azadirachtin inhibits the oviposition of
the female by disrupting the egg formation or
by synthesis of the ecdysteriod (Berxolli &
Shahini, 2017) where in male, it acts as an sus-
pension for forming the meiotic process which
result in sperm production (Adnan et al., 2004;
Martinez & Van Emden, 2001). The oviposition
deterrence activity of neem can be found
against pulse beetle, Callosobruchus chinensis
(Akter et al., 2019), cabbage moth, Mamestra
brassicae (Jogar et al., 2009), peach fruit-fly (B.
Zonata) (Mahmoud & Shoeib, 2008) and potato
tuber moth, Phthorimaea opercullela (El-Sinary
& Rizk, 2002). The addition of neem seed ex-
tract and Neem formulations exhibit its ovipo-
sition on cauliflower (Shah et al., 2019).
Repellent
Neem oil alone or mixed with other com-
pounds like coconut oil also exhibit repellency
on mosquito (Brahmachari, 2004). Beside its
mosquito repellence effect, the use of neem ei-
ther in aqueous or in formulated forms was ef-
fective on citrus leaf miner (Canarte-Bermudez
et al., 2020). Similarly, the higher concentration
of azatrol, triple action neem oil and pure neem
oil were able to repel aphids feeding on sweet
pepper plants (Shannag et al., 2014). Recently,
Incense sticks of different herbal products
along with neem were made and these sticks on
burning were proved to be the most effective to
control mosquito (Bahadur et al., 2020).
Antifeedant
The anti-feedant properties of neem have
been able to degrade the numerous insects’
pests and protect plants. The mode of action of
anti-feedant is that when the insects starve,
they try to feed on the parts of the plants
treated with neem, its feeding ability starts to
deter and as a result insects gets repelled away
from the field (Roshan & Verma, 2015). The
presence of azadirachtin, salanin and
melandriol generates an antiperistalitic wave
in the alimentary canal of insects and this pro-
duces something similar to vomiting sensation
in the insect. Because of this sensation the in-
sect does not feed on the neem treated surface
and ability to swallow is also blocked (Vijaya-
lakshmi et al., 1985). Anifeedant activity of
neem can be observed against economically im-
portant pest Spodoptera litura as reported by
Prianto et al. (2019). Azadirachtin, the most es-
sential compound showing anti-feedant activi-
ties, blocks the formation of hormone "ecdys-
teroid" which is important for carrying out
molting in insects (Berxolli & Shahini, 2017).
Similarly, the presence of other compound on
neem like salannin and meliantrol discourage
feeding behaviour on the pests (Campos et al.,
2016).
K Adhikari et al., 2020 / Use of neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) as a biopesticide in agriculture
JAAB | Journal of Agriculture and Applied Biology 109 Volume 1 | Number 2 | December | 2020
Growth Regulation
Different neem extracts show decrease in
fertility, growth inhibitory activity and high
mortality rate on more than 400 insect species
from different orders (Ragsdale et al., 2004; Liu
et al., 2004). Neem oil consists of different
growth regulating compounds that inhibits the
enzyme ecdysone 20-monoxygenase responsi-
ble for converting ecdysone to active hormone
(Morgan, 2009). The ecdysone controls the
molting of different stages (Mordu, 2004).
When azadirachtin enters to the body of larva,
the activity of endosyne is deteriorated and
hence larval moulting can’t occur, thus larval
mortality will occur after it has reached the pu-
pal stage. In case of lower concentration, the
adult emerging from pupae will be 100% mal-
formed with the formation of chitin inhibited
and sterile (Vijayalakshmi et al., 1985). How-
ever, the feed stuff taken by the pests deter-
mines their ability to for growth and reproduc-
tion (Chapman et al., 1998). Azadirachta indica
when fed to Spodoptera frugiperda, the weight
of the pupa decreased that sooner or later ham-
pers the growth of the insects (Roel et al.,
2010). Even the fungus like Aspergillus was in-
hibited using neem oil (Rodrigues et al., 2019).
Sterility
Azadirachtin, a nonvolatile compound,
when taken by the insects results into blocking
the formation of ecdysteriods from the protho-
racic gland and finally leads to an incomplete
molting showing the sterility of the adult fe-
male (Isman, 2006). In addition, NeemAzal-T/S
® (1%) fed to the male rats which were used as
an experimental study exhibit the antifertility
effect because of their histopathological differ-
ences that affect the seminiferous tubules
forming spermatogenesis (Morovati et al.,
2009).
The commercially available neem products
and their applications as agrochemicals (pesti-
cides) and fertilizers is given in Table 6.
Table 6. The commercial product of neem
Fertilizers
Agrochemicals
Neem urea guard
Azamax
Parker neem coat
Neemix 4.5
Ozoneem coat
BioNeem
Ozoneem cake
AZA- direct
Neem cake
Neem oil
Plan "B" organics-neem cake
OzoNeem oil
Bio neem oil foliar
Neemazal technical
Future Prospects of Neem
Botanically derived insecticides have got
more and more attention in the recent years
because of the natural substances present on it
and will play most important role in developing
and industrialized country as well in the near
future (Dimetry, 2012). Different entomopath-
ogenic fungi in combination with neem oil
tested were found to be against vegetable suck-
ing pest (Halder et al., 2013). The use of nano-
particles of neem in combination with other bo-
tanicals like citronella were found as effective
antifungal activity against phytopathogenic
fungi (Ali et al., 2017). Similarly, neem acts as
an alternative, sustainable, and eco-friendly
component in agriculture with the aim of de-
creasing the use of overall insecticide, pesti-
cides, and fumigants (Rangiah & Gowda, 2019).
Although the use of neem is safe, various limi-
tation for the use of neem as biopesticide in-
clude photosensitivity, volatilization, short
shelf life, and slow killing rate (Isman, 2006;
Miresmailli & Isman, 2014). So, on decreasing
the photo degradation effect on neem, enhanc-
ing its ability against pests in agriculture, use of
nano technology in neem could be a promising
botanical pesticide on large scale equally bene-
fiting food and cash crops.
K Adhikari et al., 2020 / Use of neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) as a biopesticide in agriculture
JAAB | Journal of Agriculture and Applied Biology 110 Volume 1 | Number 2 | December | 2020
Conclusion
Neem based pesticides are extensively used
in agriculture all over the world. It contains
Azadirachtin, which is a predominant pesti-
cidal active ingredient, having ovipositional de-
terrence, repellence, antifeedent, growth dis-
ruption, and sterility against great variety of in-
sect pests. Neem provides a suitable option for
developing eco-friendly and sustainable pesti-
cides. Neem products are suitable for inte-
grated pest management because of their non-
toxicity behavior to non-target organisms, easy
preparation, and compatibility with other by
products. So, there is need to educate everyone
for judicious use of neem as biopesticide and
protect their agricultural crops.
Authors’ Contribution
All authors contributed equally to all stages
of preparation of this manuscript. Similarly, fi-
nal version of manuscript was approved by all
authors.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Acknowledgements
The authors would like to acknowledge
Prithu Technical College, Institute of Agricul-
ture and Animal Science (IAAS) for providing
all the necessary information required in the
preparation of this paper.
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... The neem oil treatment also had no effect on the functional response of A. diadematus compared to the control with spiders exhibiting a type II response with similar search coefficients and handling times. Neem-based products are readily available to control a range of pest species at varying life stages and are therefore a valuable insecticide for agriculture (Adhikari et al., 2020;Campos et al., 2016). ...
... Neem oil, in particular, is the most widely used neem-based product and it has many pesticidal functions due to a complex composition of over 200 biologically active compounds facilitating the anti-oviposition, anti-feed and repellent properties (Adhikari et al., 2020;Campos et al., 2016;Gupta et al., 2017;Stark, 2013). Many studies have determined that neem oil, along with other selective and botanical insecticides, should have a negligible effect on spiders and other non-target arthropods in an agroecosystem (Mansour & Nentwig, 1988;Stark, 2013). ...
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Orb‐weaving spiders are abundant predators in agroecosystems and serve as key natural enemies for pest control. However, studies have demonstrated that many insecticides can negatively affect the predatory behaviours of spiders when exposed to sublethal concentrations, thus disrupting their biocontrol potential and subsequent ecosystem dynamics. Understanding how insecticides impact spiders is, therefore, of great importance. This study investigated the effects of two conventional insecticides (thiamethoxam and deltamethrin), and a common biopesticide (neem oil) compared to a tap water control on the functional response of a common orb‐weaver Araneus diadematus. Spiders were collected from the wild and maintained under laboratory conditions in containers (20 × 20 × 5 cm) to allow for web production. Spiders were then exposed to one of the four treatments and Drosophila melanogaster were added to the webs as prey at densities of 1, 3, 5, 10, 20, and 40, with the number of consumed prey quantified after 16‐h to determine the functional response. Overall, A. diadematus exhibited a type II functional response when exposed to the control, thiamethoxam and neem oil treatments, with comparable consumption rates, search coefficients and handling times. This contrasted with deltamethrin‐treated spiders which exhibited a type III functional response and a lower consumption rate of prey compared to the control. This study demonstrates that deltamethrin, unlike thiamethoxam and neem oil, is capable of negatively affecting the biocontrol potential of A. diadematus. However, further research is required to fully understand the impact insecticides have on the predatory behaviours of orb‐weaving spiders. Orb‐weaving spiders, such as Araneus diadematus, are an important natural enemy in agroecosystems, however, exposure to insecticides has been shown to detrimentally impact their predatory behaviours. This study, therefore, evaluated the effects of the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam, the pyrethroid deltamethrin and the biopesticide neem oil on the functional response of A. diadematus. Deltamethrin was the only insecticide to significantly impact the functional response and associated predatory behaviours, whereby thiamethoxam and neem oil had a negligible effect on A. diadematus.
... Among the available non-chemical options, neem (Azadirachta indica L.) has shown the potential to be used as a substitute of synthetic insecticides (Schmutterer, 1995). Seeds, leaves, kernels and other parts of the neem tree are rich source of azadirachtin and various other compounds (Shafeek et al., 2004;Adhikari et al., 2020). These were found promising against many insects in different crops (Gahukar, 2000;Liang et al., 2003;Nathan et al., 2005). ...
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Neem formulations viz. aqueous extract of neem and NSKE along with standard check thiamethoxam were evaluated for their efficacy against wheat aphids Rhopalosiphum padi (L.) and Rhopalosiphum maidis (Fitch). It was observed that aphids' incidence on shoots started in the first week of January with a peak (40.90 aphids/ shoot) during third week of March. Thiamethoxam 25 WG @ 50 g/ ha was found significantly superior giving 93.53% reduction after 7 DAS (days of spray). Different formulations of neem also yielded comparable results in controlling wheat aphids. Aqueous extract of neem @ 5 l/ ha resulted maximum (74.21%) reduction followed by NSKE @ 10% (69.04%) after 7 DAS. Occurrence of coccinellids was more in treatments with neem formulations than in thiamethoxam. The treatments resulted in 2.48-9.25% increase in yield and it can be concluded that aqueous extract of neem and NSKE can be recommended over the most commonly used thiamethoxam for controlling wheat aphids.
... As with other natural resources, such as biostimulators and biofertilizers, biopesticide application in mechanized farming creates a balance amongst sociocultural relevance, economic productivity, and environmental protection that is considered pivotal to sustainable agriculture. Integration of public policy into these four domains (technology inclusive) would yield a much higher concept known as sustainable development (Marteel-Parrish and Newcity, 2017;Adhikari et al., 2020). The most current strategies aimed at achieving sustainable development are contained in the United Nations 2030 Agenda (17 SDGs). ...
... Among the various biopesticides neem Azadirachta indica has proven to be a highly reliable source for effective pest management, it tops the list of 2400 botanicals used as biopesticide worldwide. 3 The bacterial spores from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is the most important entomopathogenic microorganism used in crop protection and has displayed toxicity against an increasing number of insect pest from the orders Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, Hymenoptera and Hemiptera. 4 A cost-benefit analysis would be helpful in the decision making process as there is a possibility that these biorationals may have a positive cost-benefit ratio 5 despite the higher cost for the purchasing of biorationals. ...
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Neem and karanja oil are the most promising botanical insecticides in crop protectionnowadays. Given that information about the insecticidal abilities of these oils is lacking, the aim wasto explore the effects of neem and karanja oil binary mixtures. The insecticidal activity of NeemAzalT/S (Trifolio-M GmbH, Lahnau, Germany) (neem oil), Rock Effect (Agro CS a.s.,ˇCeskáSkalice,Czech Republic) (karanja oil), and their binary mixes (at 1:1, 1:2, and 2:1 volume ratios) against thelarvae of the Colorado potato beetle (CPB;Leptinotarsa decemlineata) was studied. In our bioassays,a synergistic effect of the mixtures, which was dose-dependent, was observed for the first time againstthis pest. The most effective blend was the 1:1 ratio. Its efficacy was more or less the same as, or evengreater than, the neem oil alone. The LC50of neem oil two days after application was (0.075 g·L−1)and the LC50of the mixture was (0.065 g·L−1). The LC50of karanja oil was (0.582 g·L−1), whichwas much higher than the LC50of neem oil. The LC90of neem oil five days after application was(0.105 g·L−1) and the LC90of the mixture was (0.037 g·L−1). The LC90of karanja oil was (1.032 g·L−1).The results demonstrate that it is possible to lower the doses of both oils and get improved efficacyagainst CPB larvae; nevertheless, further verification of the results in field conditions is necessary.
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A field research was conducted at Ikpe Annang, Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria between March and June, 2015 to evaluate the efficacy of aqueous extract of Azadirachta indica, Moringa oleifera and Ocimum grattissimum on corn earworm (Heliothis armigera). The experiment was laid out in split plot fitted into randomized complete block design with three replicates. Aqueous extracts of the three botanicals were applied at the rates of 0, 100, 200 and 300 l/ha weekly to study the number of punch holes on leaves and the number of cobs attacked by corn earworm at 4, 6 and 8 weeks after planting (WAP), as well as grain yield. Data collected were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) and significant means compared using least significant difference (LSD) at 5% probability (p<0.05). The results from the study showed that application of A. indica and M. oleifera leaf extracts applied at 300 l/ha recorded fewer punch holes than O. grattissimum leaf extract, at different times after planting. At harvest, the application of neem leaf at 300l/ha recorded lesser number (1.49) of insect pest per cob than scent leaf (2.51) and moringa leaf (1.80) while fewer number of cobs were attacked by the insect pest. At harvest, the highest grain yield of 2.31 t/ha was recorded from maize treated with moringa leaf extract while neem leaf recorded 2.25 t/ha, as against scent leaf with the lowest yield of 1.85t/ha. The incorporation of biopesticides particularly neem and moringa for the management of field pests of maize is hereby advocated.
Chapter
Among the medicinal plants, neem has its own value in terms of treating many known and unknown diseases. Neem plant is known to contain several thousands of secondary metabolites, which are crucial for multifunctional properties like anti-oxidation, anti-inflammation, antimalarial, and anticarcinogenic activities. Now it is important to understand the molecular details like exact quantity of the neem metabolites in different parts of the plants. Here we have showed a UHPLC-MS/SRM method to quantify five neem metabolites (Azadirachtin, Nimbin, Salanin, Azadiradione, Epoxy/Hydroxy-azadiradione) from different parts of neem plants (leaf, bark, and seed). Among the five metabolites analyzed, E/H-Azadi is present in very high concentration in neem plant (leaf: 124,239 pg/µg, bark: 906.97 pg/µg, seed: 7309.48 pg/µg) as compared to other metabolites. Interestingly, E/H-Azadi seems to be the most abundant metabolite in the neem leaf and bark extracts and azadi is the highest in the seed extract. In the leaf extract, E/H-Azadi is ~136 fold higher compared to bark and ~17 fold higher compared to seed extract. The amount of E/H-Azadi in leaf is 124,239 pg/µg of leaf extract, which constitutes ~10% in the leaf extract. The excess amount of E/H-Azadi in the neem leaf might be one of the reasons for its multifunctional properties in nature.