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Observations of numerous dramatic and presumably adaptive phenotypic modifications during human evolution prompt the common belief that more genes have undergone positive Darwinian selection in the human lineage than in the chimpanzee lineage since their evolutionary divergence 6-7 million years ago. Here, we test this hypothesis by analyzing nearly 14,000(More)
Taste reception is fundamental to diet selection in many animals. The genetic basis underlying the evolution and diversity of taste reception, however, is not well understood. Recent discoveries of T1R sweet/umami receptor genes and T2R bitter receptor genes in humans and mice provided an opportunity to address this question. Here, we report the(More)
Two evolutionarily unrelated superfamilies of G-protein coupled receptors, V1Rs and V2Rs, bind pheromones and "ordinary" odorants to initiate vomeronasal chemical senses in vertebrates, which play important roles in many aspects of an organism's daily life such as mating, territoriality, and foraging. To study the macroevolution of vomeronasal sensitivity,(More)
Pheromones are chemicals produced and detected by conspecifics to elicit social/sexual physiological and behavioral responses, and they are perceived primarily by the vomeronasal organ (VNO) in terrestrial vertebrates. Two large superfamilies of G protein-coupled receptors, V1rs and V2rs, have been identified as pheromone receptors in vomeronasal sensory(More)
The diversity and evolution of bitter taste perception in mammals is not well understood. Recent discoveries of bitter taste receptor (T2R) genes provide an opportunity for a genetic approach to this question. We here report the identification of 10 and 30 putative T2R genes from the draft human and mouse genome sequences, respectively, in addition to the(More)
Echolocation is a sensory mechanism for locating, ranging and identifying objects which involves the emission of calls into the environment and listening to the echoes returning from objects [1]. Only microbats and toothed whales have acquired sophisticated echolocation, indispensable for their orientation and foraging [1]. Although the bat and whale(More)
Pheromones are chemicals emitted and sensed by conspecifics to elicit social and sexual responses and are perceived in terrestrial vertebrates primarily by the vomeronasal organ (VNO). Pheromone receptors in the mammalian VNO are encoded by the V1R and V2R gene superfamilies. The V1R superfamily contains 187 and 102 putatively functional genes in the mouse(More)
Vertebrate vomeronasal chemoreception plays important roles in many aspects of an organism's daily life, such as mating, territoriality, and foraging. Vomeronasal type 1 receptors (V1Rs) and vomeronasal type 2 receptors (V2Rs), 2 large families of G protein-coupled receptors, serve as vomeronasal receptors to bind to various pheromones and odorants.(More)
Accumulating evidence indicates a key role of inflammation in hypertension and cardiovascular disorders. However, the role of inflammatory processes in neurogenic hypertension remains to be determined. Thus, our objective in the present study was to test the hypothesis that activation of microglial cells and the generation of proinflammatory cytokines in(More)
The vomeronasal receptor 1 (V1R) are believed to be pheromone receptors in rodents. Here we used computational methods to identify 95 and 62 new putative V1R genes from the draft rat and mouse genome sequence, respectively. The rat V1R repertoire consists of 11 subfamilies, 10 of which are shared with the mouse, while rat appears to lack the H and I(More)