(Sackler NAS Colloquium) Chemical Communication in a Post-Genomic World
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  • Status: Final Book



One major goal of post-genomic biology is to understand the function of genes. Many gene functions are comprehensible only within the context of chemical communication, and this symposium seeks to highlight emerging research on genomics and chemical communication and catalyze further development of this highly productive interface. Many of the most abundantly represented genes in the genomes characterized to date encode proteins mediating interactions among organisms, including odorant receptors and binding proteins, enzymes involved in biosynthesis of pheromones and toxins, and enzymes catalyzing the detoxification of defense compounds. Determining the molecular underpinnings of the component elements of chemical communication systems in all of their forms has the potential to explain a vast array of ecological, physiological, and evolutionary phenomena; by the same token, ecologists who elucidate the environmental challenges faced by the organisms are uniquely well-equipped to characterize natural ligands for receptors and substrates for enzymes. Thus, partnerships between genome biologists and chemical ecologists will likely be extremely synergistic. To date, these groups have rarely had opportunities to interact within a single forum. Such interactions are vital given the considerable practical benefits potentially stemming from these studies, including the development of biorational products for agricultural and forest pest management, for disease treatment, and for improving the quality of ecosystem health.


  • Math, Chemistry and Physics — Chemistry
  • Biology and Life Sciences — Genetics

Publication Info

108 pages | 8 1/2 x 11

Table of Contents

skim chapter
Front Matter i-iv
1 Chemical communication in a post-genomic world 1-1
2 Understanding the chemistry of chemical communication: Are we there yet? 2-4
3 Chemical ecology: Can it survive without natural products chemistry? 5-6
4 Pheromone-mediated gene expression in the honey bee brain 7-13
5 Drosophila Gr5a encodes a taste receptor tuned to trehalose 14-18
6 Mammalian TRPV4 (VR-OAC) directs behavioral responses to osmotic and mechanical stimuli in Caenorhabditis elegans 19-24
7 Molecular evolution of the insect chemoreceptor gene superfamily in Drosophila melanogaster 25-30
8 A genomic perspective on nutrient provisioning by bacterial symbionts of insects 31-36
9 Chemical communication among bacteria 37-42
10 Synergy and contingency as driving forces for the evolution of multiple secondary metabolite production by Streptomyces species 43-49
11 Efficient oxidative folding of conotoxins and the radiation of venomous cone snails 50-56
12 Non-self recognition, transcriptional reprogramming, and secondary metabolite accumulation during plant/pathogen interactions 57-64
13 Systemins: A functionally defined family of peptide signals that regulate defensive genes in Solanaceae species 65-68
14 Manduca sexta recognition and resistance among allopolyploid Nicotiana host plants 69-74
15 Evolutionary dynamics of an Arabidopsis insect resistance quantitative trait locus 75-80
16 Diversification of furanocoumarin-metabolizing cytochrome P450 monooxygenases in two papilionids: Specificity and substrate encounter rate 81-86
17 Molecular genetics and evolution of pheromone biosynthesis in Lepidoptera 87-94
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Suggested Citation

National Academy of Sciences. (Sackler NAS Colloquium) Chemical Communication in a Post-Genomic World. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2003.

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