HOPE report


Elucidation of genetic background of behavior associated with chemical sense among wild chimpanzees

Report: HAYAKAWA, Takashi

Date:2010/09/27 - 2010/12/16

 In many primate species, there are individual differences of behaviors associated chemical senses (e. g. , taste and olfaction). It has recently been revealed that the individual differences are often influenced by genetic polymorphisms of chemical receptors. The ecological significances, however, are unknown. 

 My aim of this research was elucidation of genetic background of feeding behavior among wild Eastern chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii). I stayed at the Mahale Mountains National Park and researched wild Eastern chimpanzees. I observed feeding behavior of the chimpanzees by focal sampling method and collected their genetic samples by noninvasive method. I also collected plants for chemical analyses. I am planning to decide variability of chemical receptor genes in wild Eastern chimpanzees and to compare the behavioral and genetic data of the Eastern chimpanzees with chemical compounds in local plants I collected.

A chimpanzee who eats the pith of Pennisetum purpureum

Chimpanzee feces containing seeds of Pycnanthus angolensis

A Vernonia amygdalina tree eaten by a chimpanzee

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