Young expanding leaves of `Ambersweet' [Citrus reticulata Blanco × C. paradisi Macf. × C. reticulata) × C. sinensis (L) Osb.] with feeding injury by third larval stage of citrus leafminer (Phyllocnistis citrella) were examined by light and electron microscopy for extent of injury and tissue recovery over time. Results confirmed that injury is confined to the epidermal layer, leaving a thin covering over the mine tunnel that consisted of the cuticle and outer cell wall. Wound recovery consisted of two possible responses: the production of callus tissue or the formation of wound periderm. The production of callus tissue developed within 3 days of injury when the uninjured palisade or spongy parenchyma below the injured epidermis produced callus tissue through periclinal or diagonal cell divisions. After 1 month, the entire epidermis was replaced by callus tissue. In the absence of secondary microbial invasion, this callus tissue developed a thick cuticle, followed by development of a covering of platelet wax after 4 months. Alternatively, wound periderm formed if the outer cuticular covering was torn before the cuticle had developed sufficiently to prevent the exposed cells from being desiccated or invaded by fungi, bacteria, or other insects. The wound periderm consisted of a lignified layer of collapsed callus cells, a suberized phellem layer, and a multilayered phelloderm-phellogen. Since there were always cellular collapse or fungi and bacteria associated with wound periderm formation, it was determined to be a secondary effect, not a direct effect of leafminer feeding.
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