Journal: PLOS ONE, vol. 10(6): e0124933, 2015
International Standard Numbers:
Open Access: gold
Bitter taste has been extensively studied in mammalian species and is associated with sensitivity to toxins and with food choices that avoid dangerous substances in the diet. At the molecular level, bitter compounds are sensed by bitter taste receptor proteins (T2R) present at the surface of taste receptor cells in the gustatory papillae. Our work aims at exploring the phylogenetic relationships of T2R gene sequences within different ruminant species. To accomplish this goal, we gathered a collection of ruminant species with different feeding behaviors and for which no genome data is available: American bison, chamois, elk, European bison, fallow deer, goat, moose, mouflon, muskox, red deer, reindeer and white tailed deer. The herbivores chosen for this study belong to different taxonomic families and habitats, and hence, exhibit distinct foraging behaviors and diet preferences. We describe the first partial repertoires of T2R gene sequences for these species obtained by direct sequencing. We then consider the homology and evolutionary history of these receptors within this ruminant group, and whether it relates to feeding type classification, using MEGA software. Our results suggest that phylogenetic proximity of T2R genes corresponds more to the traditional taxonomic groups of the species rather than reflecting a categorization by feeding strategy.