Azobenzene-Benzoylphenylureas as Photoswitchable Chitin Synthesis Inhibitors
Benzoylphenylureas (BPUs) are used as synthetic insect growth regulators for inhibiting the chitin synthesis. Merging insecticidal BPUs with photoswitchable azobenzene generated the photoresponsive chitin synthesis inhibitors. One prepared azobenzene-benzoylphenylurea can be activated upon irradiation of UV light, which shows 6-fold and 2-fold activity difference to armyworm (Mythimna separate) and German cockroach (Blattlla germanica) sulfonylurea receptor, respectively. This is the first example of photoswitchable BPU insecticide. The generation of such photoresponsive BPU insecticide allows for modulating the insecticidal activity by light and may facilitate the spatiotemporal control over the sulfonylurea receptor and the mechanism study of this kind of insecticide.