African basil, Ocimum gratissimum (L.) was found to be a good alternative source of vitamins for being used in formulation of semi- synthetic diet for mass rearing of various lepidopteron insects with special reference to Helicoverpa armigera. Components of the semi-synthetic insect diet were replace by methanolic stem extract of African basil increases the life span of larva, larval & pupal period as well as larval weight significantly over control. The replacement of vitamin A and biotin by methanol stem extract of African basil in insect diet fed to the larvae enhanced the 100 percent growth and development of H. armigera. The biosafety studies indicated non-toxic effect of methanol stem extract on liver, renal function and lipid profile of Swiss albino mice over control. This approach is demonstrating to use alternate sources of vitamins for man and animals from various medicinal plant species which may be bioassay further as bioresources for food in future.
Arun Kumar Singh, Dewasya Pratap Singh, Neelima Anshul, Dwijendra Singh, Dayanandan Mani. African basil as source of vitamins for the growth and development of Helicoverpa armigera Hubner (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). J Entomol Zool Stud 2014;2(4):304-310.