Abstract

The vast number of detectable odors makes matching olfactory receptors (ORs) to their ligands a daunting task. Krautwurst and colleagues have hypothesized that this process can be simplified by focusing on those odorants that are perceptually relevant food odors. In this issue of Chemical Senses, they use this framework to identify highly sensitive receptors for 2 key food odorants found in red wine and onions, that activate broadly tuned OR1A1 and narrowly tuned OR2M3, respectively. This work provides further evidence for the advantage of screening receptors against ecologically relevant odors, and we discuss it in the context of current limitations in OR screening methods.

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