Cucurbituril Nanoencapsulation Reduces the Unpalatability of Bitter Phytochemicals
journal contributionposted on 18.06.2021, 17:04 by Zeba Manzar, Tanoy Dutta, Apurba Lal Koner, Aniruddha Mitra
It is a challenge to induce an organism to feed on an aversive compound, and this must be overcome to study the noxious effect of ingestion of a bitter compound on the physiology and behavior of the organism. We show that cucurbituril (CB7) nanoencapsulation significantly reduces the aversive nature of bitter phytochemicals (caffeine and strychnine) in Drosophila melanogaster, and thereby, flies can be induced to feed on phytochemicals that they normally avoid ingesting. This is the first demonstration of CB7-mediated delivery of aversive compounds into insects and can help in the study of the relation between bitterness and toxicity and open up new applications in studying insect physiology and pest control.