FoxP2 and Olfaction: Divergence of FoxP2 Expression in Olfactory Tubercle Between Different Feeding Habit Bats


FoxP2 is a member of the winged helix/forkhead class of transcription factors. Despite FoxP2 is found to have particular relevance to speech and language, the role of this gene is broader and not yet fully elucidated. In this study, we investigated the expression of FoxP2 in the brains of bats with different feeding habits (two frugivorous species and three insectivorous species). We found FoxP2 expression in the olfactory tubercle of frugivorous species is significantly higher than that in insectivorous species. Difference of FoxP2 expression was not observed within each of the frugivorous or insectivorous group. The diverse expression patterns in olfactory tubercle between two kinds of bats indicate FoxP2 has a close relation with olfactory tubercle associated functions, suggesting its important role in sensory integration within the olfactory tubercle and such a discrepancy of FoxP2 expression in olfactory tubercle may take responsibility for the different feeding behaviors of frugivorous and insectivorous bats.


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We thank Jim Desmond from Ecohealth Alliance for the English writing and futher editing with our manuscript. There is no conflict of interest to declare. This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31101641).

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Correspondence to Y. Sun.

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Chen, Q., Wang, L., Jones, G. et al. FoxP2 and Olfaction: Divergence of FoxP2 Expression in Olfactory Tubercle Between Different Feeding Habit Bats. BIOLOGIA FUTURA 64, 426–437 (2013).

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  • Chiroptera
  • feeding habit
  • FoxP2
  • frugivorous
  • insectivorous