Plant secondary metabolites as mammalian feeding deterrents: separating the effects of the taste of salicin from its post-ingestive consequences in the common brushtail possum ( Trichosurus vulpecula )

Pass, G.J., and Foley, W.J. (2000) Plant secondary metabolites as mammalian feeding deterrents: separating the effects of the taste of salicin from its post-ingestive consequences in the common brushtail possum ( Trichosurus vulpecula ). Journal of Comparative Physiology B: biochemical systemic and environmental physiology, 170 (3). pp. 185-192.

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Abstract

The effect of the phenolic glycoside, salicin, on food intake of the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) was studied in a series of feeding experiments. Increasing the concentration of salicin in a diet of fruits and cereals led to significant reductions of food intake in the short term (6 days). After prolonged (20 days) exposure to salicin, food intake (19 g kg(-0.75) day(-1)) was still reduced relative to controls (31 g kg(-0.75) day(-1)) but not reduced to the same extent as in the short-term experiments. Nonetheless, over these 20 days, common brushtail possums regulated their intake of salicin so as not to exceed a threshold limit of 1.9 +/- 0.1 g kg(-0.75) day(-1). Manipulative experiments sought to determine whether this threshold intake was in response to pre-ingestive factors (taste) or the post-ingestive consequences of ingesting salicin. Dietary salicin (0.17-5.0% DM) had no significant effect on nitrogen balance or urea metabolism and injection of a specific serotonin receptor antagonist, ondansetron, did not lead to increases in salicin intake as has been found for some other plant secondary metabolites. Similarly, administration of 1.3 g salicin by gavage had no significant effect on the subsequent intake of salicin compared to controls that were gavaged with water. We concluded that pre-ingestive factors were responsible for common brushtail possums limiting their intake of salicin-rich diets rather than any measurable post-ingestive consequence of feeding.

Item ID: 12903
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: antifeedant; detoxification; jensenone; marsupial; phenolic glycoside
ISSN: 1432-136X
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2010 00:28
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0606 Physiology > 060603 Animal Physiology Systems @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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