Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Author's Department


First Advisor

John E. Ebinger


The lichen species Dermatocarpon miniatum (L.) Mann. was found to be cyanogenic. This umbilicate lichen, which is common on limestone and sandstone outcrops throughout the United States, is the first lichen to be reported as cyanogenic. This species were examined for cyanogenesis using population from within the confines of Kankakee River State Park, Kankakee and Will Counties, Illinois. Of the nine populations examined six of the population (testing 30 to 150 individuals in each population) were 100% strongly cyanogenic. In the three remaining population cyanogenesis ranged from 67% to 97%. In addition D. miniatum, two other lichen species also were found to be occasional cyanogenic. Both Dermatocarpon fluviatile (G. Web.) Th. Fr. and Usnea cavernosa Tuck. gave slightly positive tests for cyanide.

The isolation of the cyanogenic compound in D. miniatum was attempted. A cyanogenic extract from this species was purified using paper chromatography. This extract was analyzed using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance techniques (NMR). The results of this analysis shows a prominent sugar peak between 3.0-4.0 on the NMR spectrum which fits well with the idea that the compound responsible is a cyanogenic glycoside. A mass spectrum analysis was also attempted on the sample, but gave little information concerning the compounds molecular weight. This was probably due to impurities in the sample.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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