Stem gall of Michelia champaca L. (Magnoliaceae) induced by Podothrips sp.: Identification, histochemical and phytochemical studies
Monnanda Somaiah Nalini*, K. E. Shilpa and Sekharappa Basavarajappa
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Abstract: Galls are organized structures of plant tissues induced by the insects. The present study deals with the identification of gall-maker on the stem/twigs of Michelia champaca. The gall-maker was identified as belonging to the order Thysanoptera, and was confirmed as the genus Podothrips. Histochemical staining was carried out in different portions of gall as well as healthy twigs for the presence of alkaloids, fats, starch, tannins and proteins. The staining varied in different tissues. The galls at different development stages (young and mature) were tested for the presence of total phenolic as well as carbohydrate content. The results revealed high phenolic content in young galls where as low amount was found in a mature gall tissue, however, a 2.3-fold difference was noted between the two. Very high concentration of carbohydrate content was detected in young gall tissues. The gall serves both as a shelter and a food source, to the gall-maker. The inner walls of the galls are moist and are usually rich in phenolics and carbohydrates. Our work reports for the first time Podothrips sp. as gall-makers. Further studies on the ecology of the insect would relate its occurrence on other host species and distribution.
Fig.: Stem gall of Michelia champaca L. (Magnoliaceae) induced by Podothrips sp.