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Anatomy and ontogenesis of hymenopteran leaf galls of Struthanthus vulgaris Mart. (Loranthaceae)


Journal: Revista Brasileira de Botânica
ISSN 0100-8404

Volume: 25;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 449;
Date: 2002;
Original page

Keywords: Hymenoptera | leaf gall | Loranthaceae | mistletoe | Struthanthus vulgaris

Leaves of Struthanthus vulgaris Mart. (Loranthaceae) exhibit galls induced by a Hymenoptera. These galls pass through five developmental stages. In the first stage, a small brown swelling is observed on the surface of the leaf. Internally, the chlorenchyma cells around the eggs of the gall-makers are divided. In the second stage, the gall enlarges and its surface assumes a wavy appearance with a depressed region in its center. Within this depression, an incompletely divided gall chamber with embryos is observed. Neoformed parenchyma is present around the chamber and the secondary walls of fibers and sclereids are no longer observed. The vascular parenchyma shows hyperplasia. In the third stage, the gall grows larger and adopts an ellipsoidal shape. Fissures appear on the gall epidermis and the neoformed parenchyma is conspicuous, with a cortical and a medullar region. In the medullar region, each gall chamber, with one inducer in larval phase, is lined with 1-2 layers of nutritive tissue. The gall is larger still at the fourth stage of development and a periderm coats most of the gall. New vascular bundles, sclereids, and fibers are formed. The gall-makers are in advanced larval phase and no nutritive tissue cells are observed. In the fifth stage, the gall reaches its definitive size and the inducers are in the pupa phase. At this stage, the cortical region undergoes slight hypertrophy. The senescent gall shows the orifices of the exit channel made by the adult gallmakers. The anatomical studies of the hymenopteran gall enabled to compare this gall with a dipteran one, previously discribed in the same plant host. It is suggested that during the maturation of the gall, specific key processes are triggered, which bring about a specific cecidogenesis.
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