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Effect of Neuroterus quercusbaccarum (L.) galls on physiological and biochemical response of Quercus robur leaves

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 June 2019

I. Kot
Department of Plant Protection, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Leszczyńskiego 7, 20-069 Lublin, Poland
C. Sempruch
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Siedlce University of Natural Sciences and Humanities, Prusa 12, 08-110 Siedlce, Poland
K. Rubinowska
Department of Botany and Plant Physiology, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Akademicka 15, 20-950 Lublin, Poland
W. Michałek
Department of Botany and Plant Physiology, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Akademicka 15, 20-950 Lublin, Poland
E-mail address:


Gall formation is associated with multiple changes in plant cells, which still requires a better understanding. In this study, galls caused by sexual generation (♀♂) of Neuroterus quercusbaccarum (L.) (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae) on pedunculate oak trees (Quercus robur L.) were used as a model. Cytoplasmic membrane condition, concentration of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), the activity of antioxidant enzymes and amino acid decarboxylase as well as chlorophyll fluorescence parameters were determined. Changes in physiological and biochemical parameters were analyzed in foliar tissues with galls and gall tissues themselves and compared to control. The presence of galls on oak leaves caused an increase of lipid peroxidation level. A significant decline in H2O2 and TBARS content with the reduction of guaiacol peroxidase (GPX) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX) activity were observed in gall tissues. The activity amino acid decarboxylase, i.e., LDC, ODC and TyDC varied between samples, which may affect the content of amino acids. The presence of N. quercusbaccarum galls caused an insignificant increase of the chlorophylls, carotenoids and anthocyanin contents, while the content of pigments and their ratios in gall tissues was extremely low. Moreover, photosynthetic parameters (F0, Fm, Fv/Fm, Y, qP) were significantly decreased. Data generated in this study indicate that the development of N. quercusbaccarum galls on pedunculate oak leaves has a negative effect on host plant related to the disruption of cell membrane integrity, disturbance of photosynthesis and reduction of the antioxidant potential of the host plant.

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