The Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig

is a research museum of the Leibniz Association

The evolution and genomic basis of beetle diversity


A team of 24 scientists from Germany (predominantly from the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig - Leibniz Institute for Animal Biodiversity), Australia, China, and the USA have explored the phylogeny and evolution of beetles using genomic data of an unprecedented scale: 4,818 genes for 146 species, and 89 genes for 521 species representing all major lineages. One of the major findings was that certain herbivore beetles obtained genes of plant cell wall-degrading enzymes via horizontal gene transfers from bacteria and fungi, which enabled them to digest wood and plant leaves.

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Sabine Heine

Tel.: +49 (0)228 9122 215
Fax: +49 (0)228 9122 213
E-Mail: s.heine [at]

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Head of Department Arthropoda
Head of Section
+49 228 9122-286
+49 228 9122-212
d.ahrens [at]