Relaxation of selective constraint and loss of function in the evolution of human bitter taste receptor genes.

@article{Wang2004RelaxationOS,
  title={Relaxation of selective constraint and loss of function in the evolution of human bitter taste receptor genes.},
  author={Xiaoxia Wang and Stephanie D Thomas and Jianzhi Zhang},
  journal={Human molecular genetics},
  year={2004},
  volume={13 21},
  pages={2671-8}
}
Bitter taste perception prevents mammals from ingesting poisonous substances because many toxins taste bitter and cause aversion. We hypothesize that human bitter taste receptor (TAS2R) genes might be relaxed from selective constraints because of the change in diet, use of fire and reliance on other means of toxin avoidance that emerged in human evolution. Here, we examine the intra-specific variations of all 25 genes of the human TAS2R repertoire. Our data show hallmarks of neutral evolution… CONTINUE READING

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