Elucidation of genetic background of chemosensory-related
behavior in wild western chimpanzees
Report: Takashi Hayakawa
Date: 2012/12/17 - 2013/1/27
The previous study reported that bitter taste receptor genes in chimpanzees
(Pan troglodytes) are differentiated between the eastern and western
subspecies under natural selection (Hayakawa et al.
2012 PLOS ONE).
However, the ecological background is not clear.
Following research of eastern chimpanzees (P.
schweinfurthii) in the Mahale Mountains National Park, Tanzania (in 2010), I visited Bossou, Guinea to research western chimpanzees (P.
verus) in this study.
I observed the Bossou chimpanzees and collected their fecal and urine samples for analyzing genomic DNA after individual identification.
Furthermore, I research distribution of plants in Bossou focusing on the taste,
and collect the dried or soaked samples.
I plan to analyze the genetic diversity of taste receptor genes in Bossou chimpanzees and taste compounds
in Bossou plants, and compare with those of Mahale chimpanzees to elucidate eco-evolutionary background of taste of chimpanzees at the molecular level.
Chimpanzees in Bossou
A juvenile chimpanzee eating figs
Fruits of Parkia bicolor whose seeds were eaten by chimpanzees