The evaluation of non-rubber extractives from the guayule plant (Parthenium argentatum Gray) for pesticidal worth

IRG/WP 4125

J D Bultman, R H Beal, C A Bailey, W W Schloman

The resin obtained from the guayule plant (Parthenium argentatum Gray) of the southwestern United States is a potentially imporant domestic source of natural rubber, however only about 20 percent of the extractives from the plant produce this material. An effort is underway to find marketable uses for the remaining non-rubber extractives, and the Naval Research Laboratory is evaluating this resin as a potential wood protectant for use in the marine and terrestrial environments. Pine sapwood, impregnated with the resin, is currently on marine exposure in Panamanian waters and on terrestrial exposure in the Panamanian rain forest. Also, treated wood was evaluated in a laboratory force-feeding situation using the termite Reticulitermes flavipes. After 1 year in the marine environment wood containing the resin was still sound and most of the specimens were only lightly attacked by Limnoria tripunctata; a few were more heavily damaged. Untreated controls were very heavily damaged or missing. There was no molluscan borer damage to either the treated or the untreated wood. After 1 year in the rain forest none of the treated wood was attacked by termites although the baitwood was heavily damaged by species of Heterotermes, and most of it was actively termite-infested at the time of inspection. AIso at the end of 1 year there was no evidence of fungal colonization of the wood. All of the termites closeted with the resin-treated wood in the laboratory force-feeding situaion died within 20 days. Mortality was apparently caused by a combination of starvation and the increasing concentration of resin volatiles within the test chambers.


Conference: 86-05-26/30 Avignon, France

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