BackgroundGlucose-6-phosphate (G6pc) is a key enzyme involved in the regulation of the glucose homeostasis. The present study aims at revisiting and clarifying the evolutionary history of g6pc genes in vertebrates.Resultsg6pc duplications happened by successive rounds of whole genome duplication that occurred during vertebrate evolution. g6pc duplicated before or around Osteichthyes/Chondrichthyes radiation, giving rise to g6pca and g6pcb as a consequence of the second vertebrate whole genome duplication. g6pca was lost after this duplication in Sarcopterygii whereas both g6pca and g6pcb then duplicated as a consequence of the teleost-specific whole genome duplication. One g6pca duplicate was lost after this duplication in teleosts. Similarly one g6pcb2 duplicate was lost at least in the ancestor of percomorpha. The analysis of the evolution of spatial expression patterns of g6pc genes in vertebrates showed that all g6pc were mainly expressed in intestine and liver whereas teleost-specific g6pcb2 genes were mainly and surprisingly expressed in brain and heart. g6pcb2b, one gene previously hypothesised to be involved in the glucose intolerant phenotype in trout, was unexpectedly up-regulated (as it was in liver) by carbohydrates in trout telencephalon without showing significant changes in other brain regions. This up-regulation is in striking contrast with expected glucosensing mechanisms suggesting that its positive response to glucose relates to specific unknown processes in this brain area.ConclusionsOur results suggested that the fixation and the divergence of g6pc duplicated genes during vertebrates’ evolution may lead to adaptive novelty and probably to the emergence of novel phenotypes related to glucose homeostasis.