Article

Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 36, Issue 7, pp 736-743

First online:

No Major Role for Binding by Salivary Proteins as a Defense Against Dietary Tannins in Mediterranean Goats

  • Michal Hanovice-ZionyAffiliated withDepartment of Agronomy and Natural Resources, Institute of Plant Sciences, Agricultural Research Organization
  • , Nathan GollopAffiliated withDepartment of Food Sciences, Institute of Technology and Storage of Agricultural Products, Agricultural Research Organization
  • , Serge Yan LandauAffiliated withDepartment of Agronomy and Natural Resources, Institute of Plant Sciences, Agricultural Research Organization Email author 
  • , Eugene David UngarAffiliated withDepartment of Agronomy and Natural Resources, Institute of Plant Sciences, Agricultural Research Organization
  • , Hussein MukladaAffiliated withDepartment of Agronomy and Natural Resources, Institute of Plant Sciences, Agricultural Research Organization
  • , Tzach Aharon GlasserAffiliated withDepartment of Agronomy and Natural Resources, Institute of Plant Sciences, Agricultural Research Organization
  • , Avi PerevolotskyAffiliated withDepartment of Agronomy and Natural Resources, Institute of Plant Sciences, Agricultural Research Organization
  • , John Withers WalkerAffiliated withTexas A&M University Agricultural Research and Extension Center

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Abstract

We investigated whether Mediterranean goats use salivary tannin-binding proteins to cope with tannin-rich forages by determining the affinity of salivary or parotid gland proteins for tannic acid or quebracho tannin. Mixed saliva, sampled from the oral cavity, or parotid gland contents were compared to the intermediate affinity protein bovine serum albumin with a competitive binding assay. Goats that consume tannin-rich browse (Damascus) and goats that tend to avoid tannins (Mamber) were sequentially fed high (Pistacia lentiscus L.), low (vetch hay), or zero (wheat hay) tannin forages. Affinity of salivary proteins for tannins did not differ between goat breeds and did not respond to presence or absence of tannins in the diet. Proteins in mixed saliva had slightly higher affinity for tannins than those in parotid saliva, but neither source contained proteins with higher affinity for tannins than bovine serum albumin. Similarly, 3 months of browsing in a tannin-rich environment had little effect on the affinity of salivary proteins for tannin in adult goats of either breed. We sampled mixed saliva from young kids before they consumed forage and after 3 months of foraging in a tannin-rich environment. Before foraging, the saliva of Mamber kids had higher affinity for tannic acid (but not quebracho tannin) than the saliva of Damascus kids, but there was no difference after 3 months of exposure to tannin-rich browse, and the affinity of the proteins was always similar to the affinity of bovine serum albumin. Our results suggest there is not a major role for salivary tannin-binding proteins in goats. Different tendencies of goat breeds to consume tannin-rich browse does not appear be related to differences in salivary tannin-binding proteins.

Key Words

Defense mechanism against tannins Tannin-binding capacity Parotid Lentisk Pistacia lentiscus