Gall

Galls (from Latin galla, 'oak-apple') or cecidia (from Greek kēkidion, anything gushing out) are a kind of swelling growth on the external tissues of plants, fungi, or animals. Plant galls are abnormal outgrowths[1] of plant tissues, similar to benign tumors or warts in animals. They can be caused by various parasites, from viruses, fungi and bacteria, to other plants, insects and mites. Plant galls are often highly organized structures so that the cause of the gall can often be determined without the actual agent being identified. This applies particularly to some insect and mite plant galls. The study of plant galls is known as cecidology.

In human pathology, a gall is a raised sore on the skin, usually caused by chafing or rubbing.[2]

Crown-gall detail
A crown gall on Kalanchoe infected with Agrobacterium tumefaciens.
CrinoidGalls072713
Galls can also appear on skeletal animals and in the fossil record. Two galls with perforations on a crinoid stem (Apiocrinites negevensis) from the Middle Jurassic of southern Israel.

Causes of plant galls

Insects and mites

Oak marble gall sectioned
Sectioned oak marble gall showing central "cell", inquiline chamber, and exit-hole with a possibly parasitised stunted gall specimen.

Insect galls are the highly distinctive plant structures formed by some herbivorous insects as their own microhabitats. They are plant tissue which is controlled by the insect. Galls act as both the habitat and food source for the maker of the gall. The interior of a gall can contain edible nutritious starch and other tissues. Some galls act as "physiologic sinks", concentrating resources in the gall from the surrounding plant parts.[3] Galls may also provide the insect with physical protection from predators.[4][5]

Insect galls are usually induced by chemicals injected by the larvae of the insects into the plants, and possibly mechanical damage. After the galls are formed, the larvae develop inside until fully grown, when they leave. In order to form galls, the insects must take advantage of the time when plant cell division occurs quickly: the growing season, usually spring in temperate climates, but which is extended in the tropics.

The meristems, where plant cell division occurs, are the usual sites of galls, though insect galls can be found on other parts of the plant, such as the leaves, stalks, branches, buds, roots, and even flowers and fruits. Gall-inducing insects are usually species-specific and sometimes tissue-specific on the plants they gall.

Inductor insects

Goldenrod round gall
Goldenrod round gall made by the fly Eurosta solidaginis

Gall-inducing insects include gall wasps, gall midges, gall flies, Agromyzidae aphids (such as Melaphis chinensis, Pemphigus spyrothecae, and Pemphigus betae), scale insects, goldenrod gall fly, psyllids and weevils.[6]

Galls produced by insects and mites include:

  • Ash flower gall: this gall is caused by a small mite that causes irregular distortion of male flowers. The galls are initially green, then dry and turn brown.
  • Ash midrib gall: normally 0.5 to 1 inch long, these galls are succulent and have thick walls. A small cavity within each gall contains one or more small maggots, the larval stages of very small flies called midges. Female midges lay their eggs in very young leaflets during early spring. Gall formation begins soon after the eggs are laid. Specifics of the biology of this insect are not known. The galls probably do not harm tree health.
  • Elm cockscomb gall: these distinct galls, caused by an aphid, are about one inch long and about 1/4 inch high. The irregular edge of the gall and its red color at maturity account for the common name. The galls dry, harden and turn brown as they age. Aphids may be seen through a slit-like opening in the underside of the gall. This insect has a complex life cycle—it forms galls on elm in early summer, then feeds on grass roots later in the summer. The galls apparently do not cause significant harm to the tree.
  • Hackberry leaf gall: this gall is caused by a small (0.1 inch long) aphid-like insect with sucking mouthparts called a jumping plant louse. The adults spend the winter under bark crevices and can invade houses in large numbers in the fall. Females lay eggs over a long period of time beginning when leaves begin to unfold from the buds in the spring. Feeding by the nymphs that hatch from these eggs causes abnormal plant growth that forms a pouch. The psyllids remain inside the galIs until they emerge as adults in late summer to early fall. There is one generation each year. Heavy infestations can result in premature leaf drop which over a series of years may affect tree health.
  • Honeylocust pod gall: this gall is caused by a small fly (midge). The sunburst cultivar appears to be very susceptible to this pest. Infested leaves have globular or pod-like distortions that contain one to several small maggots (0.25 inch long). Infestations begin when females lay eggs in young leaflets. There are five or more generations each year. Infested leaves often drop prematurely and repeated damage can kill small branches. New shoots develop at the base of dead twigs. As a result, the natural shape of the tree may be lost.
  • Oak gall: see Oak apple
  • Petiole and stipule galls: thick globe-like galls can develop on leaf petioles and stems. Many of these are caused by insects called phylloxerans which are very similar to aphids. The hard, woody galls may remain on the tree for several years. Usually, there is one generation each year and the insects over winter on the tree in the egg stage.
  • Willow shoot galls: these swellings on shoots, twigs, or leaf petioles, may be caused by small flies (midges) or small wasps (sawflies). The gall increases in size as long as the immature stages are active. They cause no significant injury. The infestation may be reduced by pruning and destroying the galled areas before the adult insect emerges, usually in late summer.
  • Witchhazel gall: this gall is caused by an aphid that passes the winter in eggs laid on twigs of the plant. Feeding by the aphid causes the formation of conical galls on the upper side of the leaf. Each gall, produced by a single aphid, later becomes filled with offspring. Mature aphids with wings leave the galls in late spring and early summer and fly to birch. After several generations there, the insects return to witch hazel to lay the eggs that survive the winter. No galls are formed on the birch.

Fungi

RHODODENDRON FERRUGINEUM - GENTO - IB-137 (Neret)
Rhododendron ferrugineum infected by an Exobasidium fungus.

Many rust fungi induce gall formation, including western gall rust, which infects a variety of pine trees and cedar-apple rust. Galls are often seen in Millettia pinnata leaves and fruits. Leaf galls appear like tiny clubs; however, flower galls are globose. Exobasidium often induces spectacular galls on its hosts.

The fungus Ustilago esculenta associated with Zizania latifolia, a wild rice, produces an edible gall highly valued as a food source in the Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces of China.[7]

Bacteria and viruses

Agrobacterium tumefaciens and Pseudomonas savastanoi are examples of gall-causing bacteria. Gall forming virus was found on rice plants in central Thailand in 1979 and named rice gall dwarf. Symptoms consisted of gall formation along leaf blades and sheaths, dark green discoloration, twisted leaf tips and reduced numbers of tillers. Some plants died in the glasshouse in later stages of infection. The causal agent was transmitted by Nephotettix nigropictus after an incubation of two weeks. Polyhedral particles of 65 nm diameter in the cytoplasm of phloem cells were always associated with the disease. No serologic relationship was found between this virus and that of rice dwarf.

Nematodes

Nematodes are microscopic worms that live in the soil. Some nematodes (Meloidogyne species or root-knot nematodes) cause galls on the roots of susceptible plants. The galls are small, individual and beadlike in some hosts. In other plant species galls may be massive accumulations of fleshy tissue more than an inch in diameter. Some ectoparasitic nematodes (nematodes that live outside the plant in the soil), such as sting and stubby-root nematodes, may cause root tips to swell. Nitrogen-fixing bacteria (Rhizobium species) cause swellings on the roots of most legumes (such as clover, peas and beans). These swellings, called nodules, are easily distinguished from root-knot galls by differences in how they are attached to the root and their contents. Nodules are loosely attached to the root, while root-knot galls originate from infection at the center of the root, so they are an integral part of the root. In addition, fresh Rhizobium nodules have a milky pink-to-brown liquid inside them, while root-knot galls have firmer tissues and contain female root-knot nematodes (creamy white beads less than 1/32-inch in diameter) inside the gall tissues.

Other plants

Mistletoe can form galls on its hosts.

Uses

Galls are rich in resins and tannic acid and have been used in the manufacture of permanent inks (such as iron gall ink) and astringent ointments, in dyeing, and in tanning. A high-quality ink has long been made from the Aleppo gall, found on oaks in the Middle East. The Talmud[8] records using gallnuts as part of the tanning process as well as a dye-base for ink.

The larvae in galls are useful for a survival food and fishing bait; see the Indigenous Australian foods Bush coconut and Mulga apple. Nutgalls also produce purpurogallin.

The gall of Rhus chinensis, Galla chinensi, has long been considered to possess many medicinal properties.[9]

Gallery

Maple leaf gall

Gall on a Maple leaf

Diplolepis-rosae

Rose bedeguar gall on a wild rose in summer.

Andricus foecundatrix Quercus01

Oak artichoke gall (Andricus fecundator)

Eikengallen op mannelijke bloeiwijze

Neuroterus albipes forma laeviusculus

Eucalyptus gall

Eucalyptus leaf gall

Oak Gall

Andricus kollari oak gall

Oak marble galls 1

Oak marble galls, one with a gall fly exit hole and another with Phoma gallarum fungal attack.

Red-Pea gall Cynips divisa on Oak

Red-pea gall (Cynips divisa) on Pedunculate oak.

Andricus lignicola - Cola-nut Gall

Cola-nut galls (Andricus lignicola) on Pedunculate Oak

Pineapple gall

Pineapple gall on Sitka Spruce caused by Adelges abietis.

Developing Pineapple Gall

Developing Pineapple pseudocone galls on Norway Spruce

Gall of Japanagromyza inferna in Centrosema virginianum L. - ZooKeys-374-045-g006

Gall of Japanagromyza inferna in Centrosema virginianum

Oakgall3800ppx

An Oak tree with multiple Oak apples.

Galle

Oak Apples on an oak tree.

Eriophyes tilae tilae close up

Lime nail galls (Eriophyes tiliae tiliae)

Rhododendron ferrugineum b

Leaf galls on Rhododendron ferrugineum

Gall of peach tree leaves

Gall on peach tree leaves

Gall attack

Gall attack on Eucalyptus due to Leptocybe invasa at Acharya N. G. Ranga Agricultural University

Actinidia polygama mushi

Fruit gall on Actinidia polygama

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ "gall(4)", Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, accessed November 16, 2007: "an abnormal outgrowth of plant tissue usually due to insect or mite parasites or fungi and sometimes forming an important source of tannin".
  2. ^ "gall", medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com.
  3. ^ Larson, K. C.; Whitham, T. G. (1991). "Manipulation of food resources by a gall-forming aphid: the physiology of sink-source interactions", Oecologia 88(1): 15–21. doi:10.1007/BF00328398.
  4. ^ Weis, A. E.; Kapelinski, A. (1994). "Variable selection on Eurosta's gall size. II. A path analysis of the ecological factors behind selection", Evolution 48(3): 734–745. doi:10.1111/j.1558-5646.1994.tb01357.x.
  5. ^ Stone, G. N.; Schonrogge, K. (2003) "The adaptive significance of insect gall morphology", Trends in Ecology & Evolution 18(10): 512–522. doi:10.1016/S0169-5347(03)00247-7.
  6. ^ Volovnik, S. V. (2010). "Weevils Lixinae (Coleoptera, Curculionidae) as Gall Formers", Entomological Review, 90(5): 585–590. doi:10.1134/S0013873810050052.
  7. ^ Terrell, E. E.; Batra, L. R. "Zizania latifolia and Ustilago esculenta, a grass-fungus association", Economic Botany 36(3): 274–285. doi:10.1007/BF02858549.
  8. ^ Bavli, tractate Gittin:19a
  9. ^ Zhang, J.; Li, L.; Kim, S. H.; Hagerman, A. E., Lü, J. (2009). "Anti-cancer, anti-diabetic and other pharmacologic and biological activities of penta-galloyl-glucose". Pharmaceutical Research 26(9): 2066–2080. doi:10.1007/s11095-009-9932-0.

Further reading

  • Blanche, Rosalind (2012). Life in a Gall: The Biology and Ecology of Insects that Live in Plant Galls. Collingwood, Vic.: CSIRO Publishing. ISBN 064310643X.
  • Redfern, Margaret (2011). Plant Galls. London: Collins. ISBN 0002201445.
  • Russo, Ron (2007). Field Guide to Plant Galls of California and Other Western States. Berkeley, Calif.: Univ. of California Press. ISBN 9780520248854.

External links

Abbey of Saint Gall

The Abbey of Saint Gall (German: Abtei St. Gallen) is a dissolved abbey (747–1805) in a Catholic religious complex in the city of St. Gallen in Switzerland. The Carolingian-era monastery has existed since 719 and became an independent principality between 9th and 13th centuries, and was for many centuries one of the chief Benedictine abbeys in Europe. It was founded by Saint Othmar on the spot where Saint Gall had erected his hermitage. The library at the Abbey is one of the richest medieval libraries in the world. The city of St. Gallen originated as an adjoining settlement of the abbey. Following the secularization of the abbey around 1800 the former Abbey church became a Cathedral in 1848. Since 1983 the whole remaining abbey precinct has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Agrobacterium

Agrobacterium is a genus of Gram-negative bacteria established by H. J. Conn that uses horizontal gene transfer to cause tumors in plants. Agrobacterium tumefaciens is the most commonly studied species in this genus. Agrobacterium is well known for its ability to transfer DNA between itself and plants, and for this reason it has become an important tool for genetic engineering.

The genus Agrobacterium is quite heterogeneous. Recent taxonomic studies have reclassified all of the Agrobacterium species into new genera, such as Ahrensia, Pseudorhodobacter, Ruegeria, and Stappia, but most species have been controversially reclassified as Rhizobium species.

Agrobacterium tumefaciens

Agrobacterium tumefaciens (updated scientific name Rhizobium radiobacter, synonym Agrobacterium radiobacter) is the causal agent of crown gall disease (the formation of tumours) in over 140 species of eudicots. It is a rod-shaped, Gram-negative soil bacterium. Symptoms are caused by the insertion of a small segment of DNA (known as the T-DNA, for 'transfer DNA', not to be confused with tRNA that transfers amino acids during protein synthesis, confusingly also called transfer RNA), from a plasmid, into the plant cell, which is incorporated at a semi-random location into the plant genome.

A. tumefaciens is an alphaproteobacterium of the family Rhizobiaceae, which includes the nitrogen-fixing legume symbionts. Unlike the nitrogen-fixing symbionts, tumor-producing Agrobacterium species are pathogenic and do not benefit the plant. The wide variety of plants affected by Agrobacterium makes it of great concern to the agriculture industry.Economically, A. tumefaciens is a serious pathogen of walnuts, grape vines, stone fruits, nut trees, sugar beets, horse radish, and rhubarb.

A. tumefaciens grows optimally at 28 °C. The doubling time can range from 2.5–4h depending on the media, culture format and level of aeration. At temperatures above 30 °C, A. tumefaciens begins to experience heat shock and is likely to result in errors in cell division.

Biliary tract

The biliary tract, (biliary tree or biliary system) refers to the liver, gall bladder and bile ducts, and how they work together to make, store and secrete bile. Bile consists of water, electrolytes, bile acids, cholesterol, phospholipids and conjugated bilirubin. Some components are synthesised by hepatocytes (liver cells), the rest are extracted from the blood by the liver.

Bile is secreted by the liver into small ducts that join to form the common hepatic duct. Between meals, secreted bile is stored in the gall bladder. During a meal, the bile is secreted into the duodenum to rid the body of waste stored in the bile as well as aid in the absorption of dietary fats and oils.

Canton of St. Gallen

The canton of St. Gallen, also canton of St Gall (German: Kanton St. Gallen Sankt Gallen ; dialectally /saŋkˈalːə/, French: canton de Saint-Gall, Italian: Cantone di San Gallo, Romansh: chantun Son Gagl), is a canton of Switzerland. The capital is St. Gallen.

Located in northeastern Switzerland, the canton has an area of 2,026 km2 (782 sq mi) (5% of Switzerland) and a resident population close to half a million as of 2015 (6% of Switzerland). It was formed in 1803 as a conflation of the city of St. Gallen, the territories of the Abbey of St. Gall and various former subject territories of the Old Swiss Confederacy.

Cecidomyiidae

Cecidomyiidae (sometimes misspelled "Cecidomyidae") is a family of flies known as gall midges or gall gnats. As the name implies, the larvae of most gall midges feed within plant tissue, creating abnormal plant growths called galls.

Cecidomyiidae are very fragile small insects usually only 2–3 mm (0.079–0.118 in) in length; many are less than 1 mm (0.039 in) long. They are characterised by hairy wings, unusual in the order Diptera, and have long antennae.

More than 6,000 species and 783 genera are described worldwide, but since 1,100 are from well-studied North America, this is certainly an underestimate, and a recent DNA barcoding study estimated the fauna of Canada alone to be in excess of 16,000 species, hinting at a staggering global count of over 1 million cecidomyiid species that have yet to be described, which would make it the most speciose single family in the entire animal kingdom.

France Gall

Isabelle Geneviève Marie Anne Gall (French pronunciation: ​[izabɛl ʒənvjɛv maʁi an gal]; 9 October 1947 – 7 January 2018), better known by her stage name France Gall, was a French yé-yé singer. In 1965, aged 17, she won the Eurovision Song Contest. Between 1973 and 1992, she collaborated with singer-songwriter Michel Berger.

Gall Force

Gall Force (ガルフォース, Garu Fōsu) is a metaseries of science fiction anime OVA by the studios Artmic and AIC, with production by Youmex. The original character designs were by Kenichi Sonoda, though these were dropped for the Gall Force: The Revolution remake. Central Park Media has licensed most of the films and OVAs with the exceptions of Ten Little Gall Force, Scramble Wars and The Revolution.

Gall wasp

Gall wasps, also called gallflies, are a family (Cynipidae) in the wasp superfamily Cynipoidea within the suborder Apocrita of the order Hymenoptera. Their common name comes from the galls they induce on plants for larval development. About 1300 species of this generally very small creature (1–8 mm) are known worldwide, with about 360 species of 36 different genera in Europe and some 800 species in North America.

Gallbladder

In vertebrates, the gallbladder is a small hollow organ where bile is stored and concentrated before it is released into the small intestine. In humans, the pear-shaped gallbladder lies beneath the liver, although the structure and position of the gallbladder can vary significantly among animal species. It receives and stores bile, produced by the liver, via the common hepatic duct and releases it via the common bile duct into the duodenum, where the bile helps in the digestion of fats.

The gallbladder can be affected by gallstones, formed by material that cannot be dissolved – usually cholesterol or bilirubin, a product of haemoglobin breakdown. These may cause significant pain, particularly in the upper-right corner of the abdomen, and are often treated with removal of the gallbladder called a cholecystectomy. Cholecystitis, inflammation of the gallbladder, has a wide range of causes, including result from the impaction of gallstones, infection, and autoimmune disease.

Galloway

Galloway (Scottish Gaelic: Gall-Ghàidhealaibh, Latin: Gallovidia) is a region in southwestern Scotland comprising the historic counties of Wigtownshire and Kirkcudbrightshire.

A native or inhabitant of Galloway is called a Gallovidian. The place name Galloway is derived from the Gaelic i nGall Gaidhealaib ("amongst the Gall Gaidheil"). The Gall Gaidheil, literally meaning "Stranger-Gaidheil", originally referred to a population of mixed Scandinavian and Gaelic ethnicity that inhabited Galloway in the Middle Ages.

Galloway is bounded by sea to the west and south, the Galloway Hills to the north, and the River Nith to the east; the border between Kirkcudbrightshire and Wigtownshire is marked by the River Cree. The definition has, however, fluctuated greatly in size over history.

A hardy breed of black, hornless cattle named Galloway cattle is native to the region, in addition to the more distinctive 'Belted Galloway' or 'Beltie'.

Gallstone

A gallstone is a stone formed within the gallbladder out of bile components. The term cholelithiasis may refer to the presence of gallstones or to the diseases caused by gallstones. Most people with gallstones (about 80%) never have symptoms. When a gallstone blocks the bile duct, a cramp-like pain in the right upper part of the abdomen, known as biliary colic (gallbladder attack) can result. This happens in 1–4% of those with gallstones each year. Complications of gallstones may include inflammation of the gallbladder (cholecystitis), inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), jaundice, and infection of a bile duct (cholangitis). Symptoms of these complications may include pain of more than five hours duration, fever, yellowish skin, vomiting, dark urine, and pale stools.Risk factors for gallstones include birth control pills, pregnancy, a family history of gallstones, obesity, diabetes, liver disease, or rapid weight loss. The bile components that form gallstones include cholesterol, bile salts, and bilirubin. Gallstones formed mainly from cholesterol are termed cholesterol stones, and those mainly from bilirubin are termed pigment stones. Gallstones may be suspected based on symptoms. Diagnosis is then typically confirmed by ultrasound. Complications may be detected on blood tests.The risk of gallstones may be decreased by maintaining a healthy weight with exercise and a healthy diet. If there are no symptoms, treatment is usually not needed. In those who are having gallbladder attacks, surgery to remove the gallbladder is typically recommended. This can be carried out either through several small incisions or through a single larger incision, usually under general anesthesia. In rare cases when surgery is not possible, medication can be used to dissolve the stones or lithotripsy to break them down.In developed countries, 10–15% of adults have gallstones. Rates in many parts of Africa, however, are as low as 3%. Gallbladder and biliary related diseases occurred in about 104 million people (1.6%) in 2013 and they resulted in 106,000 deaths. Women more commonly have stones than men and they occur more commonly after the age of 40. Certain ethnic groups have gallstones more often than others. For example, 48% of Native Americans have gallstones. Once the gallbladder is removed, outcomes are generally good.

Gall–Peters projection

The Gall–Peters projection is a rectangular map projection that maps all areas such that they have the correct sizes relative to each other. Like any equal-area projection, it achieves this goal by distorting most shapes. The projection is a particular example of the cylindrical equal-area projection with latitudes 45° north and south as the regions on the map that have no distortion.

The projection is named after James Gall and Arno Peters. Gall is credited with describing the projection in 1855 at a science convention. He published a paper on it in 1885. Peters brought the projection to a wider audience beginning in the early 1970s by means of the "Peters World Map". The name "Gall–Peters projection" seems to have been used first by Arthur H. Robinson in a pamphlet put out by the American Cartographic Association in 1986.Maps based on the projection are promoted by UNESCO, and they are also widely used by British schools. The U.S. state of Massachusetts and Boston Public Schools began phasing in these maps in March 2017, becoming the first public school district and state in the United States to adopt Gall–Peters maps as their standard.The Gall–Peters projection achieved notoriety in the late 20th century as the centerpiece of a controversy about the political implications of map design.

Hugh Gall

Hugh Gall (c. 1888 – May 19, 1938) was a Canadian football player considered to be one of the best runners and punters of his era.After playing half-back in Toronto for Parkdale Collegiate, Gall joined the University of Toronto varsity team in 1907 and played there for four seasons. He led the team to Grey Cup victories in 1909 and 1910, becoming the first team to win the new trophy presented to the Canadian Rugby Union champions. Gall set a record for most singles (single point kicks, also known as rouges) in a Grey Cup game with eight in 1909, a record that still stands (though somewhat asterisked, because he accomplished the feat before end zones were invented and as such as soon as the ball crossed the goal line it was dead and could not be returned). He was team captain for the 1910 season.Gall also played in the Ontario Hockey Association for the Parkdale Canoe Club hockey team. In addition, he competed in several track meets in the Toronto area.

Gall was elected vice-commodore of the Parkdale Canoe Club in 1911 and then became a football referee. He returned to action in 1913, playing for the Parkdale team that lost in the Grey Cup final. Gall coached U of T to the intercollegiate championship in 1914 and graduated in 1915 with a degree in mechanical engineering.

He became secretary of the Canadian Rugby Union (now Football Canada) in 1914, and served a one-year term as president of the organization in 1920-1921. He died in Toronto at age 49 from pneumonia.

Gall was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1963, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1975, and the U of T Sports Hall of Fame in 1989.

In-Gall

In-Gall (var. In Gall, I-n-Gall, In-Gal, Ingal, Ingall) is a town in the Agadez Region, Tchirozerine Department of northeast Niger, with a year-round population of less than 500. Known for its oasis and salt flats, In-Gall is the gathering point for the Cure Salee festival of Tuareg and Wodaabe pastoralists to celebrate the end of the rainy season each September. During the festival, InGall's population grows to several thousand nomads, officials, and tourists. As of 2011, the commune had a total population of 47,170 people.InGall had been a stop on the main roads between the capital of Niger, Niamey (600 km to the southwest), and the mining town of Arlit (200 km to the northeast, 150 km from the Algerian border) or the provincial capital Agadez (100 km to the east). In the 1970s, the main road was repaved to transport uranium from the French-owned mines in Arlit, but the new road bypassed InGall, ending its use as a waystation. Since then, its population has dropped from almost 5,000 to less than 500.

During the Tuareg insurgency of the 1990s, InGall was a prime fortification of the Niger armed forces, and when peace was concluded in 2000 the old fort was reportedly abandoned.

Norse–Gaels

The Norse–Gaels (Old Irish: Gall-Goídil; Irish: Gall-Ghaeil; Scottish Gaelic: Gall-Ghàidheil, 'foreigner-Gaels') were a people of mixed Gaelic and Norse ancestry and culture. They emerged in the Viking Age, when Vikings who settled in Ireland and in Scotland adopted Gaelic culture and intermarried with Gaels. The Norse–Gaels dominated much of the Irish Sea and Scottish Sea regions from the 9th to 12th centuries. They founded the Kingdom of the Isles (which included the Hebrides and the Isle of Man), the Kingdom of Dublin, the Lordship of Galloway (which is named after them), and ruled the Kingdom of York for a time. The most powerful Norse–Gaelic dynasty were the Uí Ímair or House of Ivar.

Over time, the Norse–Gaels became ever more Gaelicized and disappeared as a distinct group. However, they left a lasting influence, especially in the Isle of Man and Outer Hebrides, where most placenames are of Norse–Gaelic origin. Several Scottish clans have Norse–Gaelic roots, such as Clan MacDonald, Clan MacDougall and Clan MacLeod. The elite mercenary warriors known as the gallowglass (gallóglaigh) emerged from these Norse–Gaelic clans and became an important part of Irish warfare. The Viking longship also influenced the Gaelic birlinn or longa fada, which were used extensively until the 17th century. Norse–Gaelic surnames survive today and include MacIvor, MacAskill, and (Mac)Cotter.

Notker the Stammerer

Notker the Stammerer (Latin: Notcerus Balbulus; c. 840 – 6 April 912 AD), also called Notker I, Notker the Poet or Notker of Saint Gall, was a musician, author, poet, and Benedictine monk at the Abbey of Saint Gall, now in Switzerland. He is commonly accepted to be the "Monk of Saint Gall" (Monachus Sangallensis) who wrote Gesta Karoli (the "deeds of Charlemagne").

Saint Gall

Saint Gall, or Gallus (c. 550 – c. 646, German: Sankt Gallus) according to hagiographic tradition was a disciple and one of the traditional twelve companions of Saint Columbanus on his mission from Ireland to the continent. Saint Deicolus was the elder brother of Gall.

St. Gallen

St. Gallen or traditionally St Gall, in German sometimes Sankt Gallen (Sankt Gallen ; English: St Gall; French: Saint-Gall; Italian: San Gallo; Romansh: Son Gagl) is a Swiss town and the capital of the canton of St. Gallen. It evolved from the hermitage of Saint Gall, founded in the 7th century. Today, it is a large urban agglomeration (with around 160,000 inhabitants) and represents the center of eastern Switzerland. Its economy consists mainly of the service sector. The town is home of the University of St. Gallen.

The main tourist attraction is the Abbey of Saint Gall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Abbey's renowned library contains books from the 9th century.

The official language of St. Gallen is (the Swiss variety of Standard) German, but the main spoken language is the local variant of the Alemannic Swiss German dialect. The town has good transport links to the rest of the country and to neighbouring Germany and Austria. It also functions as the gate to the Appenzellerland.

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