The analysis on nine inventories on the richness and diversity of galling herbivores in Brazil accounted for 806 gall systems occurring in 443 host-plant species from 74 plant families. This checklist of the Brazilian gall morphotypes proposes seven standardized morphotypes and five additional shapes that group the majority of the three-dimensional shapes reported in literature. Criteria are proposed to standardize the terminology, and a critical analysis is provided aiming to avoid possible inconsistencies in order to generate easily comparable data in future inventories. The morphotypes are herein catalogued in alphabetical order, accompanied by a conceptual definition, an illustration, and examples that best represent the shape. It is proposed that the inventories should present at least the (1) host-plant species, (2) galling herbivore species or its identification to the lowest possible taxonomic level, (3) host-plant galled organ and gall position, (4) gall morphotype, (5) gall color and registration of indumentum when present, (6) gall phenological and developmental data, (7) association with other trophic levels, and (8) additional information, such as dimension, and number of chamber(s).
The generation of ROS (reactive oxygen species) in plant galls may induce the degradation of the membrane systems of a plant cell and increase the number of plastoglobules. This numerical increase has been related to the prevention of damage to the thylakoid systems, and to the maintenance of photosynthesis rates. To investigate this hypothesis in gall systems, a comparative study of the ultrastructure of chloroplasts in non-galled leaves and in leaf galls of A. australe and A. spruceanum was conducted. Also, the pigment composition and the photosynthetic performance as estimated by chlorophyll fluorescence measurements were evaluated. The ultrastructural analyses revealed an increase in the number and size of plastoglobules in galls of both species studied. The levels of total chlorophylls and carotenoids were lower in galls than in non-galled tissues. The chlorophyll a/b ratio did not differ between the non-galled tissues and both kinds of galls. The values of maximum electron transport rate (ETR(MAX)) were similar for all the samples. The occurrence of numerous large plastoglobules in the galled tissues seemed to be related to oxidative stress and to the recovery of the thylakoid membrane systems. The maintenance of the ETR(MAX) values indicated the existence of an efficient strategy to maintain similar photosynthetic rates in galled and non-galled tissues.
Cecidomyiidae galls commonly present a zonation of tissues with lignified cell layers externally limiting a reserve tissue and internally limiting a specialized nutritive tissue next to the larval chamber. The cytological aspects of this specialized tissue indicate high metabolic activity as well as carbohydrate accumulation. In Aspidosperma spruceanum-Cecidomyiidae gall system, ultrastructural and histochemical investigations corroborated this pattern and also revealed the storage of proteins in the nutritive cells. Reactive oxygen species (ROS), callose, and pectin accumulation were related to the feeding activity of the galling herbivore. Phosphorylase, glucose-6-phosphatase, acid phosphatases, invertases, and sucrose synthase activities were detected for the first time, in the Neotropical region, and discussed in relation to gall maintenance and the feeding activity of the Cecidomyiidae.
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