Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Phytochemistry. 2003 Jul;63(6):699-704.

Cyanogenic Eucalyptus nobilis is polymorphic for both prunasin and specific beta-glucosidases.

Author information

  • 1School of Botany, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia.


Cyanogenesis (i.e. the evolution of HCN from damaged plant tissue) requires the presence of two biochemical pathways, one controlling synthesis of the cyanogenic glycoside and the other controlling the production of a specific degradative beta-glucosidase. The sole cyanogenic glycoside in Eucalyptus nobilis was identified as prunasin (D-mandelonitrile beta-D-glucoside) using HPLC and GC-MS. Seedlings from three populations of E. nobilis were grown under controlled conditions and 38% were found to be acyanogenic, a proportion far greater than reported for any other cyanogenic eucalypt. A detailed study of the acyanogenic progeny from a single open-pollinated parent found that 23% lacked a cyanogenic beta-glucosidase, 32% lacked prunasin and 9% lacked both. Of the remaining seedlings initially identified as acyanogenics, 27% contained either trace amounts of beta-glucosidase or prunasin, while 9% contained trace amounts of both. Results support the hypothesis that the two components necessary for cyanogenesis are inherited independently. Trace amounts are likely to result from the presence of non-specific beta-glucosidases or the glycosylation of the cyanohydrin intermediate by non-specific UDP glycosyl transferases.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk