Mammalian genome : official journal of the International Mammalian Genome Society
Vol 15, pp. 193-8
In food preference studies, mammals are often categorized as being either neophilic or neophobic, i.e., preferring or disliking a novel-tasting food. To date, the genetic factors influencing novel food preference have not been elucidated. To understand this phenomenon, we investigated the genetics of food preference in eight inbred strains of mice. We gave them plain-, cinnamon-, or cocoa-flavored powdered food on day 0 for 45 min and then a choice of cinnamon- or cocoa-flavored food 14 days later. We determined their preference for novel versus already-experienced flavored food and found that some inbred strains chose the food that they had been given previously, while others chose a different food. In particular, the DBA/2 strain chose more cinnamon-flavored food after it was pre-exposed to cinnamon, while the B6 strain chose less cinnamon-flavored food after this initial exposure. The BXD recombinant inbred (RI) strain set was then used to map quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that influence this novel food preference. One of these QTLs was found to map to the distal end of Chromosome (Chr) 8.
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