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Effect of gall formation by a cynipid wasp, Andricus symbioticus, on the development of the leaves and shoots of Quercus dentata


  • Masato ITO

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    1. Laboratory of Forest Protection, Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences, Nagoya University, Chikusa, Nagoya, Japan
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Masato Ito, Hokkaido Research Center, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Hitsujigaoka-7, Toyohira, Sapporo, Hokkaido, 062-8516 Japan. Email:


The sexual generation of a cynipid wasp, Andricus symbioticus Kovalev, forms its leaf galls most frequently near and on the leaf petiole of Quercus trees. I examined the effect of gall formation by A. symbioticus on the leaf development of a host plant, Quercus dentata Thunberg, by comparing the size and shape of galled and ungalled leaves. I also examined the effect of gall formation on shoot development by comparing the length of shoots with and without galled leaves. Three of seven Q. dentata trees surveyed were heavily infested with A. symbioticus. Leaf size did not differ between galled and ungalled leaves. However, the ratio of leaf width to length was greater in galled leaves, which is regarded to be a result of gall formation by A. symbioticus inhibiting the growth in length of Q. dentata leaves. Shoot length did not differ significantly between shoots with and without galled leaves. These results suggest that galls of A. symbioticus act as a sink that competes with leaves for reserved photoassimilates.