Cyanogenic plants are those angiospermic plants which produce HCN under certain conditions to protect themselves from invasion of microbes and other predators. These plants produce HCN in different quantities. The known number of cyanogenic plants is about 2700. As their detection Le.capacity to produce HCN depends upon the enzyme - glycosidase and there occurs a vast difference in production of B-glycosidase enzyme by normal human cells and cancerous cells. Cancerous cells produce l-glycosidase enzyme 3000 times more than normal cells. Cyanogenic plants produce HCN in the presence of B-glycosidase enzyme, so these plants can be used as biomarker to distinguish the cancerous tissue and normal tissue. They can also be useful in treatment of cancer. A list of such plants and the cyanogenic glycosides is presented herewith.
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