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Japanese report

AS-HOPE report

Number: AS-23-003

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

AS-HOPE Project<>