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Title: Wheat grain consumption and selection by inbred and outbred strains of mice

item LOTTES, OLIVA - Washington State University
item Kiszonas, Alecia
item FUERST, E - Washington State University
item Morris, Craig

Submitted to: Physiology & Behavior
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/15/2016
Publication Date: 7/25/2016
Publication URL:
Citation: Lottes, O.C., Kiszonas, A., Fuerst, E.P., Morris, C.F. 2016. Wheat grain consumption and selection by inbred and outbred strains of mice. Physiology and Behavior. 165:154-158.

Interpretive Summary: The mouse model system has proven effective in identifying wheat varieties that are highly preferred or highly avoided. This study shows that mouse consumption discrimination is a more general phenomenon among mouse strains, but that some strains may be better suited to the model system, and hence detection of possible flavor differences. The present study employed four contrasting pairs of wheat varieties, either known a priori to differ in consumption preference, or selected because they differed iso-genetically for white vs. red bran color (and the underlying bran color gene pathways).

Technical Abstract: Due to its commensal relationship, agricultural cereal seeds, including wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), represent a primary food for the house mouse (Mus musculus L.). C57BL/6J mice exert strong selection and consumption preferences among different varieties of wheat grains. The present study examined the consistency and repeatability of mouse grain selection across four strains of laboratory mice: BALB/c and C57BL/6J (inbred), and Swiss-Webster and CD1 (outbred). Four pairs of wheat varieties that were known to vary a priori for consumption preference or seed coat color were tested. Two variety pairs were near-isogenic (>98% similar) with contrasting red and white seed coat coloration/pigmentation. In terms of consumption preference(s), all four mice strains exhibited similar preferences between wheat variety pairs. This result indicates a more generalized phenomenon regarding how mice select and then consume individual wheat grains. The specific grain trait criteria that the mice use to select individual grains is the subject of current research. The study validated the use of C57BL/6J as an effective model system to study food perception.