Tetrodotoxin in fish extract an effective organic pesticide, reveal DKD College researchers
By Our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, July 25: Tetrodotoxin, a poison found in puffer fish can be used as an insecticide, a study by a team of researchers of Dergaon Kamal Duarah (DKD) College of Golaghat district has revealed.
The researchers found the insecticide works "very well" on cockroaches, wrigglers and other insects.
The leader of the research team Jugal Kumar th said, "Puffer fish is a regular fish found in the rivers and tributaries of the State. Though the fish is not edible for the general people, some tribes consume it. The fish has a unique characteristic to inflate its body with its unique skin layer."
The fish contains Tetrodotoxin in its skin, liver and eggs.
"Birds like crow, duck etc do not eat this fish. The man who consumes a large quantity of puffer fish can also die," th said. The study also says that if the fish is boiled with bamboo shoot, the affect of the poison may increase. The fish is a delicacy for the Mising tribe.
As the puffer fish found in the Brahmaputra valley are less poisonous and the people do not eat them in large quantity, the affect of the poison on human health is not apparent yet. But researchers say that the action of the poison is "slow and silent".
"We have found that the poison can be used as a good insecticide if it is used in proper way and in proper amounts. Instead of using other pesticides and insecticides which are made of various chemicals and medicines dangerous to health, we can use this poison which can be very affective," th said.
"One 'mouse unit' of this poison is enough to kill a mouse weighing 20 grams in 30 minutes, and 1,000 mouse units poison is needed to affect a person of 65-70 kg. So we can estimate how much poison would be needed for making insecticide for insects affecting foodgrains," th added
The researcher team also included TG Devi and Tikendrajit Gogoi.