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Biochemical responses induced in galls of three Cynipidae species in oak trees

  • I. Kot (a1), A. Jakubczyk (a2), M. Karaś (a2) and U. Złotek (a2)

Gall-making Cynipidae manipulate the leaves of host plant to form galls where offspring find shelter and food. The relationship between oak gallwasp and biochemical mechanisms of galls still requires a better understanding. So, in this research, protein and phenolic compound contents, as well as the activity of antioxidative enzymes and pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins were determined. Galls caused by asexual generation of Cynips quercusfolii L., Neuroterus numismalis (Fourc.) and N. quercusbaccarum L., as a model were used. All cynipid species modified the protein levels of gall tissues, but they cannot be treated as protein sinks. Significantly higher levels of phenols were observed in the galled leaves and galls of all cynipid species when compared with the control tissues. Peroxidase and polyphenol oxidase activity was usually low or showed no activity in galled tissues of all species. PR proteins, such as chitinase and β-1,3-glucanase, had a similar activity profile. Their activity significantly increased in the leaves with galls of all cynipid species, especially those infested with C. quercusfolii. Data generated in this study clearly indicate that galling Cynipidae manipulate the biochemical machinery of the galls for their own needs. However, the pattern of the biochemical features of leaves with galls and galled tissues depends on gall-making species.

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