Re-balancing global resources: Manipulating toxic prussic acid (dhurrin) to improve nitrogen use efficiency in forage sorghum in a changing climate

  • Gleadow, Roslyn (Primary Chief Investigator (PCI))
  • Cavagnaro, Timothy (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • 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. This reduces animal production and even kills stock. New low-dhurrin mutants developed by us using non-GM methods grow well but they have elevated levels of toxic nitrate instead. Increasing drought and CO2 may make the problem worse. We aim to produce less toxic plants that use less fertilizer (a big cost for farmers) by re-balancing the allocation of resources towards growth. We will use novel developments in plant hormones and classical ecophysiology to facilitate the development of germ plasm better adapted to current and future environmental conditions.
Effective start/end date4/01/1027/08/13


  • Australian Research Council (ARC): AUD270,000.00
  • Pacific Seeds Pty Ltd: AUD179,933.00
  • Monash University