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Keywords:

  • sweet taste;
  • mouse lemur;
  • two-bottle preference;
  • taste coding;
  • taste qualities;
  • receptors

Abstract

This study presents the results from two-bottle preference (TBP) tests performed on the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), a small Malagasy primate. We found that of 18 compounds considered sweet by humans, M. murinus preferred only six: D-tryptophan, dulcin, fructose, sucrose, SC45647, and xylitol. The animals neither preferred nor rejected acesulfame-K, alitame, aspartame, N-4-cyanophenyl-N′-cyanoguanidineacetate (CCGA), cyanosuosan, cyclamate, monellin, saccharin, suosan, super-aspartame, N-trifluoroacetyl-L-glutamyl-4-aminophenylcarbonitrile (TGC), and thaumatin. Together with previously recorded taste-nerve responses in M. murinus to acesulfame-K, alitame, aspartame, cyclamate, monellin, saccharin, and suosan [Hellekant et al., Chem Senses 18:307–320, 1993b], the current results suggest that these compounds either do not taste sweet to M. murinus or they have an aversive taste component. In this work we also relate these findings to phylogeny. Am. J. Primatol. 62:43–48, 2004. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.