Analysis of taste receptor genes and observation of feeding behaviors
Report: Suzuki Nami
Date: 2012/3/17 - 2012/3/24
Bitter taste is important sense to detect toxic or bioactive compounds contained in food items.
In this research, I am focusing on bitter taste sensitivities of leaf eating monkeys to elucidate the genetic background of their leaf eating behaviors by comparing their bitter taste sensitivities to those of other primates.
I visited Peking University Chongzuo Biodiversity Research Institute where white-headed langurs
(Trachypithecus leucocephalus) live.
I collected 64 plant samples which langurs eat, according to the comments of collaborators
including a local guide who knows feeding behaviors of the langur well.
I am planning to use some plants which containing toxic compounds or monkeys often eat for chemical compound analysis.
I also collected 37 fecal samples of the langur during following them, in order to analyze their bitter taste receptor genes.
I will examine these samples and compare their genetic data and feeding behavior.
Langurs eat leaves together
Collecting plant samples