From cell to beak: In-vitro and in-vivo characterization of chicken bitter taste thresholds

Shira Cheled-Shoval, Maik Behrens, Ayelet Korb, Antonella Di Pizio, Wolfgang Meyerhof, Zehava Uni, Masha Y. Niv*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Bitter taste elicits an aversive reaction, and is believed to protect against consuming poisons. Bitter molecules are detected by the Tas2r family of G-protein-coupled receptors, with a species-dependent number of subtypes. Chickens demonstrate bitter taste sensitivity despite having only three bitter taste receptors - ggTas2r1, ggTas2r2 and ggTas2r7. This minimalistic bitter taste system in chickens was used to determine relationships between in-vitro (measured in heterologous systems) and in-vivo (behavioral) detection thresholds. ggTas2r-selective ligands, nicotine (ggTas2r1), caffeine (ggTas2r2), erythromycin and (+)-catechin (ggTas2r7), and the Tas2r-promiscuous ligand quinine (all three ggTas2rs) were studied. Ligands of the same receptor had different in-vivo:in-vitro ratios, and the ggTas2r-promiscuous ligand did not exhibit lower in-vivo:in-vitro ratios than ggTas2r-selective ligands. In-vivo thresholds were similar or up to two orders of magnitude higher than the in-vitro ones.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number821
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 by the authors.


  • Avian
  • Bitter taste
  • Calciumimaging
  • Chicken
  • GgTas2r
  • In-vitro
  • In-vivo
  • T2R
  • Tas2r
  • Threshold


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