Student Research Projects

The Analysis of Cyanide in Stressed Peaches

Student Nick Stamps, '16
Department Biology
Course BIO 485: Biology Research


This research is being conducted for two reasons. The first is in order to quantify the amount of cyanide within a peach. The second reason is to test whether stressors to the peaches, both physical and hormonal, will result in an increase in cyanogenic glucosides; primarily amygdalin. The peaches were divided into three groups, each with 5 seeds and 5 pits. The control group which was just treated with ethanol, the damaged group which had damaged fruit flesh and was also treated with ethanol, and the Methyl Jasmonate group that was in similar condition to the control but received the hormone dissolved in ethanol. Methyl Jasmonate is a naturally occurring plant hormone that plays a key role in secondary defenses in plants. 20 microliters of MeJA was dropped onto the stem end of the five peaches in the Methyl Jasmonate group. The KCN concentrations from 0.8 mL to 0.1 mL ranges from 921.3759 micromolar KCN to115.172 micromolar KCN .We have found that 8mg of Amygdalin, the main cyanogenic glycoside found in drupe fruits such as peaches, has a similar cyanogenic concentration as 0.2mL of 0.015g/20mL of KCN. This shows that the amygdalin had 58.3 percent recovery. The cyanide values for the peaches are still to be tested.