Functional genomics and insect chemical ecology

J Chem Ecol. 2004 Dec;30(12):2335-58. doi: 10.1007/s10886-004-7940-4.


High-throughput molecular techniques (i.e., genomics) are now beginning to make their way into chemical ecology research. Pioneering functional genomics studies have made significant contributions to our understanding of insect pheromone production, reception, behavior, and insect-plant interactions. Much of this research involves nonmodel organisms, including the honey bee, silkworm, and bark beetles, underscoring that researchers need not be restricted to traditional model organisms for high-throughput research. Furthermore, the technology can reveal physiological interactions that might otherwise be missed by more traditional molecular approaches. Functional genomics should become more widely used as researchers appreciate the wealth of information this potent approach can supply. This review concentrates on a summary of available technologies for functional genomics as they may be applied by chemical ecologists studying insects. Allied technologies (proteomics and metabolomics) are introduced briefly toward the end in the context of future applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Chemistry*
  • Computational Biology
  • Ecology*
  • Genomics / methods*
  • Genomics / trends
  • Insecta / chemistry*
  • Insecta / physiology
  • Pheromones


  • Pheromones