Biosynthesis of Linamarin and Lotaustralian in White Clover

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THE strains of white clover (Trifolium repens L.) most widely used in New Zealand contain the cyanogenetic glucosides lotaustralin and linamarin (1), which are the glucosides of methylethylketone cyanhydrin and acetone cyanhydrin respectively1. Melville and Doak2 isolated a mixture of the two glucosides from white clover in quantities as high as 1.5 gm. per kgm. fresh material. The pharmacology of these compounds for ruminants grazing on white clover has been studied from the points of view of potential cyanide toxicity3 and goitrogenic action4–6.

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BUTLER, G., BUTLER, B. Biosynthesis of Linamarin and Lotaustralian in White Clover. Nature 187, 780–781 (1960) doi:10.1038/187780a0

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