Definition of cyanogenesis in US English:



  • The production of hydrogen cyanide by certain plants, such as cherry laurel, bracken, and some legumes, as a response to wounding or a deterrent to herbivores.

    • ‘However, early growth of S. litura larva was reduced 36% on Huia plants, and this was attributed to the greater cyanogenesis.’
    • ‘For many years I have been interested in the ecological genetics of cyanogenesis in plants.’
    • ‘Grazing by large herbivores does not favour cyanogenesis, but some invertebrate herbivory may do so.’
    • ‘The findings from this project may also ultimately be useful for controlling cyanogenesis in cassava.’
    • ‘Defoliation by lepidoptera can induce cyanogenesis in some plants resulting in cyanide levels high enough to kill cattle.’