Abstract The essential oil of citronella (Cymbopogon winterianus) has several biological activities, among them the insect repellent action. Some studies showed that cinnamic acid esters can be applied as natural pesticides, insecticides and fungicides. In this context, the objective of the present work was to evaluate the production of esters from citronella essential oil with cinnamic acid via enzymatic esterification. Besides, the essential oil toxicity before and after esterification against Artemia salina and larvicidal action on Aedes aegypti was investigated. Esters were produced using cinnamic acid as the acylating agent and citronella essential oil (3:1) in heptane and 15 wt% NS 88011 enzyme as biocatalysts, at 70 °C and 150 rpm. Conversion rates of citronellyl and geranyl cinnamates were 58.7 and 69.0% for NS 88011, respectively. For the toxicity to Artemia salina LC50 results of 5.29 μg mL-1 were obtained for the essential oil and 4.36 μg mL-1 for the esterified oils obtained with NS 88011. In the insecticidal activity against Aedes aegypti larvae, was obtained LC50 of 111.84 μg mL-1 for the essential oil of citronella and 86.30 μg mL-1 for the esterified oils obtained with the enzyme NS 88011, indicating high toxicity of the esters. The results demonstrated that the evaluated samples present potential of application as bioinsecticide.
Anaesthetical activity of 113 morpholinoethyl-, piperidinoethyl-, piperidinopropyl- and azepanoethyl- ester derivatives of alkoxyphenylcarbamic acid was characterized by several chemometrical techniques. The surface anaesthetical activity, A, and the infiltration anaesthetical activity, B, were correlated to lipophilicity, (expressed by the logarithm of the HPLC retention factor, log k), the length of the side alkoxy chain (represented by the number n of carbon atoms), molar mass M as well as the ester type. Principal component analysis and cluster analysis were used for predicting both types of the anaesthetic activity of the alkoxyphenylcarbamic acid esters.
The aroma of grapes is cultivar dependent and is influenced by terroir, vineyard practices, and abiotic and biotic stresses. Trincadeira is a non-aromatic variety associated with low phenolic content and high sugar and organic acid levels. This cultivar, widely used in Portuguese wines, presents high susceptibility to Botrytis cinerea. This work aimed to characterise the volatile profile of Trincadeira grapes and how it changes under infection with B. cinerea. Thirty-six volatile organic compounds were identified, from different functional groups, namely alcohols, ester acetates, fatty acid esters, fatty acids, aldehydes, and products of the lipoxygenase pathway. Both free and glycosidic volatile organic compounds were analysed by Gas Chromatography and Gas Chromatography coupled to Mass Spectrometry for component quantification and identification, respectively. A multivariance analysis showed a clear discrimination between healthy and infected grapes with 2-trans-hexenal and isoamyl-acetate among the compounds identified as negative and positive markers of infection, respectively. Ester acetates such as 2-phenylethyl acetate, isoamyl acetate, and 2-methylbutyl acetate were present in higher contents in infected samples, whereas the contents of several fatty acid esters, such as ethyl decanoate and ethyl dodecanoate, decreased. These data were integrated with quantitative PCR data regarding genes involved in volatile metabolism and showed up-regulation of a gene coding for Hydroperoxide Lyase 2 in infected grapes. Altogether, these changes in volatile metabolism indicate an impact on the grape quality and may be related to defence against B. cinerea. The presence/absence of specific compounds might be used as infection biomarkers in the assessment of Trincadeira grapes’ quality.