Genomic insight into the amino acid relations of the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum, with its symbiotic bacterium Buchnera aphidicola

Insect Mol Biol. 2010 Mar;19 Suppl 2:249-58. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2583.2009.00942.x.


The pea aphid genome includes 66 genes contributing to amino acid biosynthesis and 93 genes to amino acid degradation. In several respects, the pea aphid gene inventory complements that of its symbiotic bacterium, Buchnera aphidicola (Buchnera APS). Unlike other insects with completely sequenced genomes, the pea aphid lacks the capacity to synthesize arginine, which is produced by Buchnera APS. However, consistent with other insects, it has genes coding for individual reactions in essential amino acid biosynthesis, including threonine dehydratase and branched-chain amino acid aminotransferase, which are not coded in the Buchnera APS genome. Overall the genome data suggest that the biosynthesis of certain essential amino acids is shared between the pea aphid and Buchnera APS, providing the opportunity for precise aphid control over Buchnera metabolism.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / biosynthesis
  • Amino Acids / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Aphids / genetics*
  • Aphids / metabolism*
  • Aphids / microbiology
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Buchnera / genetics*
  • Buchnera / metabolism*
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Genome, Bacterial*
  • Genome, Insect*
  • Insect Proteins / genetics
  • Insect Proteins / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Peas / parasitology
  • Symbiosis / genetics
  • Symbiosis / physiology
  • Transaminases / genetics
  • Transaminases / metabolism


  • Amino Acids
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Insect Proteins
  • Transaminases