2012 Group Project 3

From Embryology

Taste Development

Introduction to the Gustatory System


Timeline of Developmental Processes of the Gustatory System

History of Discoveries

Date Significant Discovery
Date #1 ...
Date #2 ...

Adult Tongue and Taste Buds – Structure and Function

The tongue is for tasting, swallowing, and speech. It is divided into an anterior two thirds and a posterior one third. The division between these regions is a V-shaped groove at the back of the tongue (sulcus terminalis). The anterior two thirds (dorsum) of the tongue is covered by stratified squamous epithelium, It contains roughened surface has projections called papillae that vary in shape and number. The most numerous papillae are the filiform papillae, which function to provide a surface that aids in holding food on the tongue during chewing. The larger, less numerous fungiform papillae are scattered among the filiform papillae, Occasionally taste buds may be found on fungiform papillae. Circumvallate papilae form a wide V at the sulcus terminalis. No papillae are on the posterior third of the tongue, having mucosal folds and the lingual tonsils instead.Taste Buds are oval structures which detect taste. A taste pore connects the interior of the bud with the oral cavity. Through this opening, different taste modalities, in solution, are brought in contact with cells. Taste buds usually found housed by papillae on the anterior 2/3 of the tongue although are also found in limited numbers on the palate, epiglottis, wall of the pharynx, posterior one third of the tongue, and the glossopalatine arches.The muscles of the tongue are skeletal running in longitudinal, vertical, and transverse directions.

Taste Map


(try to include technologies to detect abnormalities during pregnancy)

Current Research

As time goes on we Understand more and more of Embryonic Taste development, through the use of state of the art technology and research techniques we are able to connect the dots of this amazing natural process. In an animal study using mice by Suzuki Y, Ikeda K, Kawakami K.(2011) stating that deficiencies in certain Six genes (specifically Six1 & Six4) leads to poor gustatory development. There is also evidence of a cooperative relationship between Six genes for normal development.[6] Another Animal Study involving mice explores a new idea of Neural crest contribution in taste development, specifically the development of papillae and taste buds. Liu HX, Komatsu Y, Mishina Y, Mistretta CM. (2012) suggest that Neural crest cells travel to the location of the tongue in early embryonic stages, gain epithelium phenotypes, multiply and then differentiate to eventually form taste papillae.[7] In an animal study conducted by Rothova M, Thompson H, Lickert H, Tucker AS.(2012) exploring the historically debated issue of endoderm contribution to tongue development showed promising evidence that position of taste buds are patterned by the border of ectoderm and endoderm derivative epithelium. <ref><pubmed>ref>22581563</pubmed></

Future Research



  1. <pubmed>8955790</pubmed>
  2. <pubmed>9455607</pubmed>
  3. <pubmed>9541477</pubmed>
  4. <pubmed>8241557</pubmed>
  5. <pubmed>22717400</pubmed>
  6. <pubmed>21978088</pubmed>
  7. <pubmed>22659543</pubmed>

External Links

External Links Notice - The dynamic nature of the internet may mean that some of these listed links may no longer function. If the link no longer works search the web with the link text or name. Links to any external commercial sites are provided for information purposes only and should never be considered an endorsement. UNSW Embryology is provided as an educational resource with no clinical information or commercial affiliation.

--Mark Hill 12:22, 15 August 2012 (EST) Please leave the content listed below the line at the bottom of your project page.

2012 Projects: Vision | Somatosensory | Taste | Olfaction | Abnormal Vision | Hearing