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Science. 2001 Sep 7;293(5536):1826-8. Epub 2001 Jul 26.

Resistance to an herbivore through engineered cyanogenic glucoside synthesis.

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  • 1Plant Biochemistry Laboratory, Department of Plant Biology, Centre for Molecular Plant Physiology, Department of Chemistry, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, 40 Thorvaldsensvej, DK-1871, Frederiksberg C, Denmark.


The entire pathway for synthesis of the tyrosine-derived cyanogenic glucoside dhurrin has been transferred from Sorghum bicolor to Arabidopsis thaliana. Here, we document that genetically engineered plants are able to synthesize and store large amounts of new natural products. The presence of dhurrin in the transgenic A. thaliana plants confers resistance to the flea beetle Phyllotreta nemorum, which is a natural pest of other members of the crucifer group, demonstrating the potential utility of cyanogenic glucosides in plant defense.

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