Carbohydrate metabolism genes and pathways in insects: Insights from the honey bee genome

T. Kunieda, T. Fujiyuki, R. Kucharski, S. Foret, S. A. Ament, A. L. Toth, K. Ohashi, H. Takeuchi, A. Kamikouchi, E. Kage, M. Morioka, M. Beye, T. Kubo, G. E. Robinson, R. Maleszka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Carbohydrate-metabolizing enzymes may have particularly interesting roles in the honey bee, Apis mellifera, because this social insect has an extremely carbohydrate-rich diet, and nutrition plays important roles in caste determination and socially mediated behavioural plasticity. We annotated a total of 174 genes encoding carbohydrate-metabolizing enzymes and 28 genes encoding lipid-metabolizing enzymes, based on orthology to their counterparts in the fly, Drosophila melanogaster, and the mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. We found that the number of genes for carbohydrate metabolism appears to be more evolutionarily labile than for lipid metabolism. In particular, we identified striking changes in gene number or genomic organization for genes encoding glycolytic enzymes, cellulase, glucose oxidase and glucose dehydrogenases, glucose-methanol-choline (GMC) oxidoreductases, fucosyltransferases, and lysozymes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)563-576
Number of pages14
JournalInsect Molecular Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2006


  • Cellulose degradation
  • Gene synteny
  • Insect metabolome
  • Lipid metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Insect Science


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