Common Sense About Taste: From Mammals to Insects

Cell. 2009 Oct 16;139(2):234-44. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.10.001.


The sense of taste is a specialized chemosensory system dedicated to the evaluation of food and drink. Despite the fact that vertebrates and insects have independently evolved distinct anatomic and molecular pathways for taste sensation, there are clear parallels in the organization and coding logic between the two systems. There is now persuasive evidence that tastant quality is mediated by labeled lines, whereby distinct and strictly segregated populations of taste receptor cells encode each of the taste qualities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemoreceptor Cells / physiology
  • Insecta / physiology*
  • Mammals / physiology*
  • Taste Buds / physiology
  • Taste*
  • Tongue / cytology
  • Tongue / physiology