Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Phytochemistry. 2004 Feb;65(3):293-306.

Cyanogenic glucosides and plant-insect interactions.

Author information

Department of Plant Biology and Center of Molecular Plant Physiology (PlaCe), Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, 40 Thorvaldsensvej, DK-1871 Frederiksberg C, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Cyanogenic glucosides are phytoanticipins known to be present in more than 2500 plant species. They are considered to have an important role in plant defense against herbivores due to bitter taste and release of toxic hydrogen cyanide upon tissue disruption. Some specialized herbivores, especially insects, preferentially feed on cyanogenic plants. Such herbivores have acquired the ability to metabolize cyanogenic glucosides or to sequester them for use in their predator defense. A few species of Arthropoda (within Diplopoda, Chilopoda, Insecta) are able to de novo synthesize cyanogenic glucosides and, in addition, some of these species are able to sequester cyanogenic glucosides from their host plant (Zygaenidae). Evolutionary aspects of these unique plant-insect interactions with focus on the enzyme systems involved in synthesis and degradation of cyanogenic glucosides are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center