Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 1335–1347 | Cite as

Tannin-binding proteins in saliva of deer and their absence in saliva of sheep and cattle

  • Paul J. Austin
  • Lisa A. Suchar
  • Charles T. Robbins
  • Ann E. Hagerman


A method has been developed for detecting tannin-binding proteins in the saliva of herbivores. The method is simple and requires only small quantities of crude saliva. The saliva of deer, a browsing ruminant, has been compared to that of domestic sheep and cow, which are grazing ruminants. The browser, which normally ingests dietary tannin, produces tannin-binding proteins, while the grazers do not produce such proteins. The tannin-binding protein from deer saliva is a small glycoprotein containing large amounts of proline, glycine, and glutamate/glutamine. The protein is not closely related to the proline-rich salivary proteins found in rats and other nonruminant mammals.

Key words

Tannin saliva ruminant proline-rich protein electrophoresis deer sheep cattle grazers browsers 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul J. Austin
    • 1
  • Lisa A. Suchar
    • 1
  • Charles T. Robbins
    • 2
  • Ann E. Hagerman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryMiami UniversityOxford
  2. 2.Program in Wildlife BiologyWashington State UniversityPullman

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