Data from: Evolution of sweet taste perception in hummingbirds by transformation of the ancestral umami receptor

Maude W. Baldwin, Yasuka Toda, Tomoya Nakagita, Mary J. O'Connell, Kirk C. Klasing, Takumi Misaka, Scott V. Edwards & Stephen D. Liberles
Sensory systems define an animal's capacity for perception and can evolve to promote survival in new environmental niches. We have uncovered a noncanonical mechanism for sweet taste perception that evolved in hummingbirds since their divergence from insectivorous swifts, their closest relatives. We observed the widespread absence in birds of an essential subunit (T1R2) of the only known vertebrate sweet receptor, raising questions about how specialized nectar feeders such as hummingbirds sense sugars. Receptor expression studies...
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