Molecular, physiological and environmental regulation of toxic prussic acid levels (cyanogenesis) in forage sorghum.

  • Gleadow, Roslyn (Primary Chief Investigator (PCI))
  • Hamill, John (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Moeller, Birger (Partner Investigator (PI))

Project: Research

Project Details

Project Description

Leaves of forage sorghum contain a natural product called dhurrin that breaks down to release toxic prussic acid (cyanide) when chewed. Dhurrin can reach toxic levels in young plants or those experiencing drought stress. The aim is to understand how dhurrin is regulated and develop lines that do not become toxic even under adverse environmental condition. Mutants will be created using new non-GM technology (TILLING) suitable for use in commercial breeding programs. The hypothesis that dhurrin content is inversely related to growth rate will be tested by comparing expression of genes regulating its biosynthesis and storage in different environments. Models will be developed for application to other agricultural species.
Effective start/end date20/06/0730/10/10


  • Australian Research Council (ARC): AUD210,000.00
  • Monash University
  • Pacific Seeds Pty Ltd: AUD90,000.00