Tolerance of bitter compounds by an herbivore,Cavia porcellus
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Many plant defensive chemicals are bitter to humans. Because of this taste characteristic, and because bitter compounds are often toxic, such substances, and the plants that contain them, are regarded as generally unpalatable to wildlife. These assumptions may be unwarranted. To test the hypothesis that herbivores are indifferent to ‘bitter’ tastants, we investigated the responsiveness of guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus) to denatonium benzoate, denatonium saccharide, limonene,l-phenylalanine, naringin, quebracho, quinine, Ro-Pel (a commercial animal repellent containing denatonium saccharide) and sucrose octaacetate. Only quinine and sucrose octaacetate slightly but significantly reduced feeding (P<0.05). Our findings are inconsistent with the notion that herbivores generally avoid what humans describe as bitter tastes.
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- Tolerance of bitter compounds by an herbivore,Cavia porcellus
Journal of Chemical Ecology
Volume 20, Issue 2 , pp 303-308
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
- Additional Links
- Cavia porcellus
- denatonium benzoate
- denatonium saccharide
- guinea pig
- sucrose octaacetate
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. U. S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Denver Wildlife Research Center, 1835 Black Lake Blvd. SW, 98512, Olympia, Washington
- 2. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Denver Wildlife Research Center c/o Monell Chemical Senses Center, 3500 Market Street, 19104, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- 3. Monell Chemical Senses Center, 3500 Market Street, 19104, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania