8.4. Comparative genomics

Currently, assembled genome sequences exist for over 30 insects and other arthropods, and that number is soon to increase dramatically (http://arthropodgenomes.org/wiki/i5K). Resources that have proven useful for comparing honey bee genes to those found in other insects (e.g., to Drosophila and other insects for which gene function is firmly decided) include the NIH-NCBI and the OrthoDB database run from the University of Geneva (http://cegg.unige.ch/orthodb5). In addition, as each incarnation of the honey bee genome is published, annotations based on presence/absence and functional similarity to other insects is simultaneously added. With projects on four other Apis species underway, along with social and solitary apoid bees, strategies for comparative genomics will be in flux for some time. The orthoDB database, along with flybase (www.flybase.org) are good places to start for insights from comparative genomics, and each site has hosts the requisite tools (gene searching/alignment/retrieval) for carrying out comparative analyses.