Potential of the non-nutritive sweet alcohol erythritol as a human-safe insecticide

Tuesday, November 18, 2014: 8:05 AM
C123 (Oregon Convention Center)
Sean O'Donnell , BEES (Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science), Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Daniel Marenda , Biology, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Kaitlin Baudier , Biodiversity Earth & Environ Science, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
We show that Erythritol, a non-nutritive sugar alcohol, was toxic to the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Ingested erythritol decreased fruit fly longevity in a dose-dependent manner, and erythritol was ingested by flies that had free access to control (sucrose) foods in choice and CAFE studies. Erythritol was US FDA approved in 2001 and is used as a food additive in the United States. Our  results demonstrate, for the first time, that erythritol may be used as a novel, environmentally sustainable and human safe approach for insect pest control.