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Geochim Cosmochim Acta. 1993 Oct;57(19):4745-52.

Molecular and isotopic analyses of the hydroxy acids, dicarboxylic acids, and hydroxicarboxylic acids of the Murchison meteorite.

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Department of Chemistry, Arizona State University, Tempe 85287-1604, USA.
AZ St U, Tempe
CA Inst Technol, Pasadena


The hydroxymonocarboxylic acids, dicarboxylic acids, and hydroxydicarboxylic acids of the Murchison meteorite were analyzed as their tert-butyldimethylsilyl derivatives using combined gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The hydroxydicarboxylic acids have not been found previously in meteorites. Each class of compounds is numerous with carbon chains up to C8 or C9 and many, if not all, chain and substitution position isomers represented at each carbon number. The alpha-hydroxycarboxylic acids and alpha-hydroxydicarboxylic acids correspond structurally to many of the known meteoritic alpha-aminocarboxylic acids and alpha-aminodicarboxylic acids, a fact that supports the proposal that a Strecker synthesis was involved in the formation of both classes of compounds. Isotopic analyses show these acids to be D-rich relative to terrestrial organic compounds as expected; however, the hydroxy acids appear to be isotopically lighter than the amino acids with respect to both carbon and hydrogen. The latter finding would not be expected if both classes of compounds came exclusively from common precursors as would have been the case for a Strecker synthesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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