The occurrence of cyanogenetic compounds in grasses which do not show such in the normal fresh state is common during wilting or withering of natural veld in Bechuanaland. The phenomenon is particularly noticeable at the time of the spring rains, and different grasses vary considerably in regard to stage of wilting at which it occurs. These compounds appear suddenly in considerable amounts and disappear again a few hours after the wilted tissues recover normal turgescense. Their formation may be explained as due either to katabolic processes or to an accumulation of products of anabolism, the further disposal of which is interfered with by disturbance of the later phases of nitrogenous and carbohydrate metabolism.
Includes bibliographical references
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