The loci of insect phenotypic evolution

Curr Opin Insect Sci. 2023 Dec:60:101134. doi: 10.1016/j.cois.2023.101134. Epub 2023 Oct 17.


Insects are important elements of terrestrial ecosystems because they pollinate plants, destroy crops, transmit diseases to livestock and humans, and are important components of food chains. Here, I used Gephebase, a manually curated database of genetic variants associated with natural and domesticated trait variation, to explore current knowledge about the genes and the mutations known to contribute to natural phenotypic variation in insects. Analysis of over 600 mutations reveals that data are concentrated toward certain species and traits and that experimental approaches have changed over time. The distribution of coding and cis-regulatory changes varies with traits, experimental approaches, and identified gene loci. Recent studies highlight the important role of standing variation, repeated mutations in hotspot genes, recombination, inversions, and introgression.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ecosystem*
  • Humans
  • Insecta / genetics
  • Mutation
  • Plants* / genetics

Associated data

  • figshare/10.6084/m9.figshare.24274483