Cyanamide (NH2CN) has recently been proven to be a natural product, although it has been synthesized for over 100 years for agricultural and industrial purposes. The distribution of natural cyanamide appears to be limited, as indicated by our previous investigation of 101 weed species. In the present study, to investigate the distribution of natural cyanamide in Vicia species, we monitored the cyanamide contents in V. villosa subsp. varia, V. cracca, and V. amoena during their pre-flowering and flowering seasons. It was confirmed that V. cracca was superior to V. villosa subsp. varia in accumulating natural cyanamide, and that V. amoena was unable to biosynthesize this compound under laboratory condition examined. The localization of cyanamide in the leaves of V. villosa subsp. varia seedlings was also clarified. In a screening study to find cyanamide-biosynthesizing plants, only Robinia pseudo-acacia was found to contain cyanamide among 452 species of higher plants. We have investigated 553 species to date, but have so far found the ability to biosynthesize cyanamide in only three species, V. villosa subsp. varia, V. cracca and R. pseudo-acacia.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Plant Science