oa Agrochemophysica - Partial characterization of a toxic macromolecular complex from the Jack bean (Canavalia ensiformis)

Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0302-7112



A purified non-haemagglutinating toxic preparation from the jack bean (Canavalia ensiformis) was characterized by a number of physico-chemical methods with a view to designing a non-empirical method for isolating the toxin. The toxic preparation was found to consist of at least two proteincontaining components. Molecular masses of the two components were estimated as 140 000 and 190 000 daltons and circular dichroism analysis suggested random coil structures. The toxic preparation contained protein (34,1%) and also a high proportion of carbohydrate (42,0%). Marked losses of toxic material were observed with increasing purification, a phenomenon ascribed in part to losses due to aggregation reactions. Separation of two components on DEAE-cellulose also resulted in a loss of activity. A possible method of isolating a pure toxin while minimising losses is proposed.

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