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Plant Physiol. 1991 Jun;96(2):609-14.

Evidence for a nonstatistical carbon isotope distribution in natural glucose.

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Lehrstuhl für Allgemeine Chemie und Biochemie TUM, Vöttinger Strasse, D-8050 Freising-Weihenstephan, Federal Republic of Germany.


The relative carbon isotope content (delta(13)C value) in each position of glucose from a C(4) plant (maize starch) and a C(3) plant (sugar beet sucrose) has been determined by stepwise chemical and biochemical degradation of the molecule and stable isotope ratio measurement of the fragments. The suitability of the degradation methods has been tested through their chemical yield and isotope balance. The results from both methods agreed perfectly, revealing a defined and reproducible (13)C distribution in glucose from both origins. Most prominent was a relative (13)C enrichment by 5 to 6 delta-units in position 4 and a depletion by about 5 delta-units in carbon 6. As possible reasons for these nonstatistical isotope distributions, isotope effects of the aldolase, the triose phosphate isomerase, and the transketolase reactions during carbohydrate biosynthesis are discussed. The practical importance of the results in regard to isotope distributions in secondary plant products as a means for food authenticity control is outlined.

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