February 27 (Tue) at 16:00 - 17:00, 2024 (JST)
  • Xin Tong (Special Postdoctoral Researcher, Cell Function Research Team, RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science (CSRS))
Thomas Hitchcock

When it comes to plant-insect interactions, insects are generally seen as pests like caterpillars eating vegetables or fruits. However, one group of insects, the galling insects can induce de novo organogenesis on the host plants which are often woody plants. Each galling insect species ‘designs’ its own gall as the extended phenotype which are so-called species-specific gall formation. Different from leaves and roots, galls represent unique plant organs swiftly formed in response to parasitic organisms, observed across diverse plant species. Yet, the precise mechanisms by which normal plant development is interrupted and redirected to form galls by galling organisms remain elusive. During the talk, I will share some discoveries and views related to aphid gall formation on the elm tree, which is the super host plant for more than 30 galling species, and further discussion about why an insect gall is not simple cell mass but well-organized structure, and how we could systematically understand insect gall formation.

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