Fischer found that the enzyme "invertase," which is present in yeast, attacks methyl-d-glucoside but not methyl-l-glucoside.
The enzymes which act upon glucosides are many; the best known are emul sin and myrosin, which split up respectively amygdalin, the special glucoside of certain plants of the Rosaceae; and sinfgrin, which has a wide distribution among those of the Cruciferae.
It appears to be synthesized in the plant tissues from carbon dioxide and water, formaldehyde being an intermediate product; or it may be a hydrolytic product of a glucoside or of a polysaccharose, such as cane sugar, starch, cellulose, &c. In the plant it is freely converted into more complex sugars, poly-saccharoses and also proteids.
It is found in the volatile oils of Spiraea, and can be obtained by the oxidation of the glucoside salicin, (C13H1807), which is found in willow bark.
It can be synthetically prepared by the reduction of coniferyl alcohol, (HO) (CH 3 O) C6H3 CH :CH CH20H, which occurs in combination with glucose in the glucoside coniferin, C16H2208.