A review of sulfoxaflor, a derivative of biological acting substances as a class of insecticides with a broad range of action against many insect pests

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L. Bacci
S. Convertini
B. Rossaro *
(*) Corresponding Author:
B. Rossaro | bruno.rossaro@unimi.it


Sulfoxaflor is an insecticide used against sap-feeding insects (Aphididae, Aleyrodidae) belonging to the family of sulfoximine; sulfoximine is a chiral nitrogen-containing sulphur (VI) molecule; it is a sub-group of insecticides that act as nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) competitive modulators. Sulfoxaflor binds to nAChR in place of acetylcholine and acts as an allosteric activator of nAChR. Thanks to its mode of action resistance phenomena are uncommon, even few cases of resistance were reported. It binds to receptors determining uncontrolled nerve impulses followed by muscle tremors to which paralysis and death follows. Sulfoxaflor acts on the same receptors of neonicotinoids as nicotine and butenolides, but it binds differently. It binds to insects nAChRs more strongly than to mammals’ ones, so it is much less toxic for mammals and man. Sulfoxaflor is supposed to have a low environmental impact and is not much aggressive against non-target species. Unfortunately, it is toxic to impollinator insects, so it must be used only in compliance with a series of legislative norms. At present sulfoxaflor can be considered one of the most interesting products to be used in fighting against agriculture insect pests.

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