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Japanese report

AS-HOPE report


Elucidation of bitter taste ability on leaf eating monkey

Report:Suzuki Nami

Date:2011/03/11 - 2011/03/18

Bitter taste is important sense to detect toxic or bioactive compounds contained food items. It seems that bitter taste receptor genes evolved reflect their habitat vegetations and their metabolic abilities. In this research, I am focusing on bitter taste receptor of leaf eating monkey. I want to elucidate the genetic background of their leaf eating behaviors by comparing their bitter taste receptor repertoires to those of other primates.

I stayed at Peking University Chongzuo Biodiversity Research Institute to study wild white-headed langurs (Trachypithecus leucocephalus) in the area. I observed their feeding behavior and collected their fecal samples for genetic analysis. I also collected their feeding and not-feeding plants, according to the comments of collaborators including local guide who knows monkey feeding behavior well. I am planning to decide their bitter taste receptor gene repertoires and compare other primate repertoires. I will also investigate their feeding plants contained their feces by DNA bar-coding methods.

white-headed langur

leaves eaten by white-headed langur

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