Demonstration

O bserve the oval-shaped taste bud in the microscope set up by the laboratory instructor. Note the surrounding epithelial cells. The taste pore, an opening into the taste bud, may be filled with taste hairs (microvilli). Within the taste bud there are supporting cells and thinner taste-receptor cells, which often have lightly stained nuclei (fig. 32.4).

a. Ask your partner to rinse his or her mouth with water and then partially dry the surface of the tongue with a paper towel.

b. Moisten a clean cotton swab with 5% sucrose solution, and touch several regions of your partner's tongue with the swab.

c. Each time you touch the tongue, ask your partner to report if a sweet sensation is experienced.

d. Test the tip, sides, and back of the tongue in this manner.

e. Record your partner's responses in Part D of the laboratory report.

f. Have your partner rinse his or her mouth and dry the tongue again, and repeat the preceding procedure, using each of the other three test solutions—NaCl, acetic acid, and quinine or Epsom salt solution. Be sure to use a fresh swab for each test substance and dispose of used swabs and paper towels as directed.

5. Complete Part D of the laboratory report.

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