Molecules 2010 Oct 14;15(10):7090-105. Epub 2010 Oct 14.
Laboratorio de Ecología Química, Facultad de Química, UdelaR, Gral. Flores 2124, Montevideo, CP 11880, Uruguay.
Members of the family Bignoniaceae are mostly found in tropical and neo-tropical regions in America, Asia and Africa, although some of them are cultivated in other regions as ornamentals. Species belonging to this family have been extensively studied in regard to their pharmacological properties (as extracts and isolated compounds). The aim of this review is to summarize the reported scientific evidence about the chemical properties as well as that of the extracts and isolated compounds from species of this family, focusing mainly in insect-plant interactions. As it is known, this family is recognized for the presence of iridoids which are markers of oviposition and feeding preference to species which have became specialist feeders. Some herbivore species have also evolved to the point of been able to sequester iridoids and use them as defenses against their predators. However, iridoids also exhibit anti-insect properties, and therefore they may be good lead molecules to develop botanical pesticides. Other secondary metabolites, such as quinones, and whole extracts have also shown potential as anti-insect agents.