Expansion of sweet taste receptor genes in grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus) coincided with vegetarian adaptation.

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Expansion of sweet taste receptor genes in grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus) coincided with vegetarian adaptation.

BMC Evol Biol. 2020 02 11;20(1):25

Authors: Yuan XC, Liang XF, Cai WJ, He S, Guo WJ, Mai KS

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Taste is fundamental to diet selection in vertebrates. Genetic basis of sweet taste receptor in the shaping of food habits has been extensively studied in mammals and birds, but scarcely studied in fishes. Grass carp is an excellent model for studying vegetarian adaptation, as it exhibits food habit transition from carnivory to herbivory.
RESULTS: We identified six sweet taste receptors (gcT1R2A-F) in grass carp. The four gcT1R2s (gcT1R2C-F) have been suggested to be evolved from and paralogous to the two original gcT1R2s (gcT1R2A and gcT1R2B). All gcT1R2s were expressed in taste organs and mediated glucose-, fructose- or arginine-induced intracellular calcium signaling, revealing they were functional. In addition, grass carp was performed to prefer fructose to glucose under a behavioral experiment. Parallelly, compared with gcT1R2A-F/gcT1R3 co-transfected cells, gcT1R2C-F/gcT1R3 co-transfected cells showed a higher response to plant-specific fructose. Moreover, food habit transition from carnivory to herbivory in grass carp was accompanied by increased gene expression of certain gcT1R2s.
CONCLUSIONS: We suggested that the gene expansion of T1R2s in grass carp was an adaptive strategy to accommodate the change in food environment. Moreover, the selected gene expression of gcT1R2s might drive the food habit transition from carnivory to herbivory in grass carp. This study provided some evolutional and physiological clues for the formation of herbivory in grass carp.

PMID: 32046636 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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