The origin of leaf damage in Terminalia glabrescens: herbivory or resistance against galls?

The hypersensitivity reaction (HR) is triggered in response to pathogen and/or insect attack, causing changes around the site of attack and resulting in death of tissue. As a consequence, attacked tissue becomes necrotic and can undergo abscission-causing holes in leaves which may be confused with the removal of leaf area by chewing herbivores, and thus are not being recorded correctly. This study aimed to: (1) evaluate whether the necroses (HR) in leaves of Terminalia glabrescens Mart. are a response to galling insect attack; (2) identify whether tissue loss is caused by necrotic leaf tissue abscission or by chewing insects; and (3) identify the insect(s) that are causing the hypersensitive reactions. To meet the objectives, leaves were monitored at early stages of development under two conditions: 1) leaves exposed to attack; and 2) leaves protected against invertebrate attack. It was found that the holes observed in the leaves of T. glabrescens were caused by the abscission of necrotic tissue that resulted from the HRs to gall induction. In this study three cecidomyiid galling species were detected that could possibly be responsible for the HRs.

Cite this article as:

Fernandes, G.W., Magalhaes, H., Efremova, A.A. and Barbosa, M. (2014). The origin of leaf damage in Terminalia glabrescens: Herbivory or resistance against galls? Plant Protection Quarterly 29(1), 20-5.



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First published online: May 9, 2014