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This article is part of the supplement: The chemical senses: recent advances and new promises

Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Behavioral genetics and taste

John D Boughter1* and Alexander A Bachmanov2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN 38163, USA

2 Monell Chemical Senses Center, 3500 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3308, USA

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BMC Neuroscience 2007, 8(Suppl 3):S3  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-8-S3-S3

Published: 18 September 2007


This review focuses on behavioral genetic studies of sweet, umami, bitter and salt taste responses in mammals. Studies involving mouse inbred strain comparisons and genetic analyses, and their impact on elucidation of taste receptors and transduction mechanisms are discussed. Finally, the effect of genetic variation in taste responsiveness on complex traits such as drug intake is considered. Recent advances in development of genomic resources make behavioral genetics a powerful approach for understanding mechanisms of taste.