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Insect Gallers and Their Plant Hosts: From Omics Data to Systems Biology

Department of Genetics, Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), Genomics Research Institute (GRI), University of Pretoria, Private Bag x20, Pretoria 0028, South Africa
Department of Biology, University of York, Wentworth Way, York YO10 5DD, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Massimo Maffei
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(11), 1891;
Received: 11 September 2016 / Revised: 28 October 2016 / Accepted: 4 November 2016 / Published: 18 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Insect Interactions)
PDF [666 KB, uploaded 22 November 2016]


Gall-inducing insects are capable of exerting a high level of control over their hosts’ cellular machinery to the extent that the plant’s development, metabolism, chemistry, and physiology are all altered in favour of the insect. Many gallers are devastating pests in global agriculture and the limited understanding of their relationship with their hosts prevents the development of robust management strategies. Omics technologies are proving to be important tools in elucidating the mechanisms involved in the interaction as they facilitate analysis of plant hosts and insect effectors for which little or no prior knowledge exists. In this review, we examine the mechanisms behind insect gall development using evidence from omics-level approaches. The secretion of effector proteins and induced phytohormonal imbalances are highlighted as likely mechanisms involved in gall development. However, understanding how these components function within the system is far from complete and a number of questions need to be answered before this information can be used in the development of strategies to engineer or breed plants with enhanced resistance. View Full-Text
Keywords: galling insect; omics data; effector; phytohormone; gall induction galling insect; omics data; effector; phytohormone; gall induction

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Oates, C.N.; Denby, K.J.; Myburg, A.A.; Slippers, B.; Naidoo, S. Insect Gallers and Their Plant Hosts: From Omics Data to Systems Biology. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 1891.

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