Maleszka Group - From molecules to behaviour

Bee and molecule

We are investigating diverse epigenetic mechanisms in the context of behaviour and developmental plasticity, mainly using the honey bee model, but we also have close interactions with labs working on other interesting systems.


Honorary Group Leader

PhD Student

Research Officer

Visiting Fellow


Open to students


Selected publications

  • Kucharski R, Maleszka J, Maleszka R (2016) A possible role of DNA methylation in functional divergence of a fast evolving duplicate gene encoding odorant binding protein 11 in the honeybee. Proc Royal Soc B. 283: 20160558.
  • Wedd, L, Kucharski R, Maleszka R (2016) Differentially methylated obligatory epialleles modulate context-dependent LAM gene expression in the honey bee Apis mellifera. Epigenetics. 11: 1-10.
  • Foret S, Kucharski R, Pellegrini M, Feng S, Jacobsen SE, Robinson GE, Maleszka R (2012) DNA methylation dynamics, metabolic fluxes, gene splicing, and alternative phenotypes in honey bees. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 109:4968-4973
  • Lyko F, Maleszka R. (2011) Insects as innovative models for functional studies of DNA methylation.Trends in Genetics. 27:127-131 [Cover article]
  • Lyko, F, Foret, S, Kucharski, R, Wolf, S, Falckenhayn, C, Maleszka, R (2010) The Honey Bee Epigenomes: Differential Methylation of Brain DNA in Queens and Workers. PloS Biol8, e1000506.
  • Maleszka as a member of the Nasonia Genome Working Group (2010) Functional and evolutionary insights from the genomes of three parasitoid Nasonia species. Science. 327:343-348
  • Maleszka, R (2008) Epigenetic integration of environmental and genomic signals in honey bees: the critical interplay of nutritional, brain and reproductive networks. Epigenetics. 3, 188-192
  • Kucharski, R, Maleszka, J., Foret, S. Maleszka, R (2008) Nutritional control of reproductive status in honey bees via DNA methylation. Science. 319:1827-1830.
  • Maleszka, R. as a member of the Tribolium Genome Sequencing Consortium (2008) The genome of the model beetle and pest Tribolium castaneum. Nature, 452, 949-955.
  • Barron, A.B., Maleszka, R., Vander Meer, R. and G.E. Robinson. (2007) Octopamine modulates honey bee dance behavior. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 104, 1703-1707.
  • Wang, Y, Jorda, M. Jones, PL, Maleszka, R, et al (2006) Functional CpG Methylation System in a Social Insect. Science. 314, 645-647.
  • Drapeau, M.D., Albert, S., Kucharski, R, Prusko, C., Maleszka, R. (2006) Evolution of the Yellow / Major Royal Jelly Protein family and the emergence of social behavior in honeybees. Genome Res. 16, 1385-1394. [Cover article]
  • Maleszka as a member of the Honey Bee Genome Consortium (2006) Insights into social insects from the genome of the honey bee Apis melliferaNature, 443, 931-949. [Cover article]
  • Foret, S. and Maleszka, R. (2006) Function and evolution of a gene family encoding odorant binding-like proteins in a social insect, the honey bee (Apis mellifera). Genome Res. 16, 1404- 1413.

News & events


Developing bee larvae
The nature-nurture debate is a “giant step” closer to being resolved after scientists studying bees documented how environmental inputs can modify our genetic hardware
Developing queen bee. Some uneaten royal jelly is left on the bottom of her cell.
The Science Museum in London is redesigning its award winning biomedical gallery called ‘Who am I’ to include the latest discoveries in genomics and epigenomics.



Nutritional control of organismal outcomes via an epigenetic mechanism

Although genes are unquestionably vital in shaping an organism’s development, their expression can be changed quite radically by environmental factors. This conditional utilisation of a genetic blueprint is driven by molecular processes referred to as epigenetic.

Ryszard Maleszka

Lab research focus

Updated:  17 July 2019/Responsible Officer:  Director RSB/Page Contact:  Webmaster RSB