Encyclopedia of Entomology

2008 Edition
| Editors: John L. Capinera

Gall Formation

  • Carol C. Mapes
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6359-6_1022

Galls are structures that form as a result of the abnormal growth activities of plants in response to gall-inducing organisms. Most galls are caused by nematodes, insects and mites, while a very small percentage are caused by bacteria, fungi and viruses. There are thousands of species of insects in the world that induce gall formation on the roots, stems, leaves, buds, flowers and fruits of plants in a wide variety of plant families. Insect galls range in complexity from simple outgrowths to more highly differentiated structures such as those typified by many of the cynipid wasp galls. Despite the large numbers and types of insect- induced galls, very little is known regarding the underlying mechanism or mechanisms of insect gall formation. In contrast, the mechanism of crown gall formation by the bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens, has been well characterized. An understanding of the mechanism of crown gall formation may provide some clues to the mechanism or mechanisms of insect...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Boysen JP (1948) Formation of galls by Mikiola fagi. Physiol Plant 1:95–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Leitch IJ (1994) Induction and development of the bean gall caused by Pontania proxima. In: Williams MAJ (ed) Plant galls: organisms, interactions, populations. Clarendon Press, Oxford, UK, pp 283–300Google Scholar
  3. Mani J (1964) Ecology of plant galls. Junk, The Hague, The Netherlands, 434 ppGoogle Scholar
  4. Mapes CC, Davies PJ (2001) Indole-3-acetic acid and ball gall development on Solidago altissima. New Phytol 151:195–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. McCalla DR, Genthe M, Hovanitz W (1962) Chemical nature of an insect gall growth-factor. Plant Physiol 37:98–103PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Plumb GH (1953) The formation and development of the Norway Spruce gall caused by Adelges abietes L. Connecticut Agric Exp Station Bull 557:2–77Google Scholar
  7. Van Staden J, Davey JE (1978) Endogenous cytokinins in the laminae and galls of Erythrina latissima leaves. Bot Gaz 139:36–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carol C. Mapes
    • 1
  1. 1.Kutztown University of PennsylvaniaKutztownUSA