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Cyanoamino Acid Metabolism

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Cyanide is an important industrial chemical produced on a grand scale each year. Under physiological conditions at pH 7, Cyanide is mostly present as HCN (Hydrogen Cyanide). HCN, being volatile and less dense than air, can rapidly diffuse into the environment. Although extremely toxic to mammalian life, Cyanide is a natural product generated during Cyanogenesis by fungi, algae, plants and bacteria. These organisms degrade Cyanide either to detoxify it, or to use it as a source of nitrogen for growth. Whereas no specific role has been ascribed to Cyanide of fungal or algal origin, Cyanogenesis in a wide range of plants constitute a chemical defense against herbivores and pathogens. Plants use Cyanogenic Glucosides (e.g. Amygdalin) as precursors of Cyanide. Cyanide [...]


1.The effect of temperature on the rate of cyanide metabolism of two woody plants.
Yu X, Trapp S, Zhou P, Hu H.
Chemosphere. 2005 May; 59(8):1099-104.
2.Removal of cyanide by woody plants.
Larsen M, Trapp S, Pirandello A.
Chemosphere. 2004 Jan; 54(3):325-33.
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