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Keywords:

  • glutathione-S-transferases;
  • cytochrome P450s;
  • esterases;
  • jewel wasp;
  • Tribolium

Abstract

The numbers of glutathione S-transferase, cytochrome P450 and esterase genes in the genome of the hymenopteran parasitoid Nasonia vitripennis are about twice those found in the genome of another hymenopteran, the honeybee Apis mellifera. Some of the difference is associated with clades of these families implicated in xenobiotic resistance in other insects and some is in clades implicated in hormone and pheromone metabolism. The data support the hypothesis that the eusocial behaviour of the honeybee and the concomitant homeostasis of the nest environment may obviate the need for as many gene/enzyme systems associated with xenobiotic metabolism as are found in other species, including N. vitripennis, that are thought to encounter a wider range of potentially toxic xenobiotics in their diet and habitat.