Extraction of Crimson Pigment and Biofuel (Insect oil) with Anti Microbial Activity from Dysdercus koenigi (cotton stainer)
Dysdercus koenigi is an hemipteran insect which is a common pest of the cotton crop. This is cosmopolitan in distribution and has been declared as a pest globally. Apart from infesting the cotton crops, it is also known to infect other plants belonging to Malvaceae family. The insect is often found as male and female in copulatory position. They reproduce quickly and hence their population is found in large numbers in any kind of terrain. Majority of the times, it is eliminated using effective pesticides or insecticides. Literature review on other insects revealed, that certain species of insects and larvae which when processed appropriately yielded oil from crude extracts, and those oils had anti microbial activity. These studies and observations, prompted me to study and explore the untapped potential of this insect pest, Dysdercus koenigi. In the present study, approximately 100-200 numbers of Dysdercus koenigi were handpicked from Chennai terrain from university of madras, Guindy campus. The insects were processed as per the standard protocol. Three different commercial products have been extracted, isolated and analyzed. A light colored crimson, dye was extracted using aqueous extraction method. Insect lipid fraction was extracted in the form of oil, using Hexane as the solvent. From 7 grams of insect weight, 7 ml of oil was extracted. Further, this oil was tested if it could be used as a fuel to light a lamp. A lamp was lighted using this oil, which burnt successfully for 10 mints, suggesting that Dysdercus oil can be used as biodiesel. In addition to this, it was intended to test if the oil possessed any antibacterial activity. Therefore the oil, which was extracted, was tested in vitro, for anti bacterial activity using well diffusion method. The oil was found to be effective against the following bacterial species, viz Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, Entero cocccus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, confirming its antibacterial properties. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) was found to be 150µL. This study was successful in unleashing the hidden and unknown potential of Dysdercus koenigi as most economically valuable insect rather than a pest insect.