Omics and the metabolic function of insect-microbial symbioses

Curr Opin Insect Sci. 2018 Oct;29:1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.cois.2018.05.012. Epub 2018 May 26.


Omic studies of metabolic interactions between insects and their microbial symbionts enable us to construct precise hypotheses, especially regarding the metabolic services provided by microbial partners and the identity of metabolites exchanged between microorganisms and the insect host. Valuable sources of information include the complement of metabolism-related genes in the microbial partners, and differences in the abundance of transcripts, proteins or metabolites, either between microbe-bearing organs and the whole body or between insects bearing and lacking microbial symbionts. Hypotheses generated from omic data can, most productively, be tested by experiments using reverse genetics for precise manipulation of the gene expression.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Physiological Phenomena*
  • Insecta / metabolism*
  • Insecta / microbiology*
  • Metabolome
  • Proteome
  • Symbiosis
  • Transcriptome


  • Proteome