Gall induction by hemipteroid insects

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35 Citations (Scopus)


The Thysanoptera and sternorrhynchQus Hemiptera induce galls through feeding action, a behavior similar to that in the Cecidomyiidae. Salivary glands of gall-founding female thrips include greater quantities of hydrolyzing enzymes and soluble proteins than those in either males or pupae, which possibly alter the host-tissue metabolism, enabling galls to develop. Piercing-and-sucking mouthparts of the Hemiptera are adapted for an exclusively liquid diet - either the plant sap from vascular elements or the fluids from living nonvascular cells. Hemipteransalivary chemistry alters the hormonal balance in the host, triggering gall development. Soluble proteins in the saliva of nymphs are critical. Gall-inducing Hemiptera vigorously take oxygen from the 'gall' tissue, which triggers auxin activity. Gall-inducing behaviors in the Thysanoptera and Sternorrhyncha are similar in that gall induction occurs by the feeding action of a single female, and gall-founding females disperse over short distances seeking young host-plant organs. Besides providing a comparative overview of gall induction by hemipteroids, this paper highlights the subtle but noteworthy differences in behaviors among these insects, thus offering pointers to their evolution within the specialist guild of herbivory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-44
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Plant Interactions
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


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