Effects of antioxidant activity of black maize in corn borer larval survival and growth
Antioxidant activity (AA) of black maize kernels attributed mainly to polyphenols has potential effects on health and possible defense functions against pests. Our objective was to evaluate the effects of maize polyphenols and AA in survival and growth of larvae of the corn borer Sesamia nonagrioides. We carried out two bioassays with S. nonagrioides larvae grown in artificial diet with white and black maize flour and control. AA was tested spectrophotometrically on each of the diets using four methods. The different measurements of AA were strongly correlated, indicating that these measurements were highly reliable. The control diet, the white-maize-diet and black-maize-diet with vitamin C and without H2O2 had the highest antioxidant activity. The processing of the maize flour altered the AA of the polyphenols. The control treatment had the highest AA, and vitamin C had stronger AA than polyphenols. AA of vitamin C hides that of polyphenols probably due to environmental effects, dilution of polyphenols, or interactions with other substances. Larvae grew more in the control diet and the addition of H2O2 had not significant effects on weight. There was a weak rank correlation between AA and larval weight. Mortality was lowest for the control diet with or without H2O2 followed by white maize with or without H2O2 and black maize without H2O2. Effects of polyphenols depend on other substances that might interact with them. The results indicate that antioxidant activity has insecticide effects on young larvae and, as the larvae grow, antioxidants have positive effects on larvae.
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