Possible Role of Plant Allelochemical in Clearance of Bacteria from the Gut of Spruce Budworm, Choristoneura fumiferana

Anthony S.D. Pang*
Great Lakes Forestry Centre, CFS, NRCan, 1219 Queen Street East, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada P6A 2E5, Canada

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© Anthony S.D. Pang; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Great Lakes Forestry Centre, CFS, NRCan, 1219 Queen Street East, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada P6A 2E5, Canada; Fax: 705-759-5700; E-mail:


Field results, using Bacillus thuringiensis delta-endotoxin in controlling spruce budworms, Choristoneura fumiferana, are far less satisfactory than those from the laboratories

The role of septicemia has also been shown to be important in mortality. However its relationship with insect diet has not been studied. Insect gut juice from spruce budworm fed on balsam foliage inhibited bacterial growth. Such activity has not been observed in the gut juice from insects fed on artificial diet. Moreover, when bacteria were given to the insects orally, and the insects then fed on balsam foliage overnight, little or no bacterial colonies could be detected in their gut juices in the tryptic soy agar plates. Such bacterial growth inhibition activity could also be found in the water extract of balsam foliage, and was suggested to be due to tannins. This result explains the role of allelochemicals affecting septicemia in spruce budworms, and hence the efficacy, when using Bacillus thuringinesis delta-endotoxin as a biologic control agent.

Keywords: Spruce budworm, Choristoneura fumiferana, bacteriostatic, gut juice, tannins.