Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



Published in Phytochemistry, 1979, Vol. 18, p. 2024.


The isolation of dhurrin, the cyanogenic glycoside of Sorghum, was reported by Dunstan and Henry in 1902 [1]. This compound, now known to be (S)-p-hydroxymandelonitrile β-D-glucopyranoside [2, 3], was the first cyanogenic glycoside isolated from a representative of the Gramineae [4]. The occurrence of other cyanogenic glycosides in certain grasses is now recognized [4, 5], but according to Fat [4], Sorghum remains the only genus in which the presence of dhurrin has been firmly established. In this report, evidence is presented indicating that dhurrin also occurs in seedlings of the warm season perennial prairie grass, indiangrass, Sorghastrum nutans (L.) Nash.