Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 165–168

Production of Guanine from NH4CN Polymerizations

  • Matthew  Levy
  • Stanley L.  Miller
  • John  Oró

DOI: 10.1007/PL00006539

Cite this article as:
Levy, M., Miller, S. & Oró, J. J Mol Evol (1999) 49: 165. doi:10.1007/PL00006539

Abstract.

The synthesis of adenine from the polymerization of concentrated ammonium cyanide solutions is well known. We show here that guanine is also produced by this reaction but at yields ranging from 10 to 40 times less than that of adenine. This synthesis is effective at both +80 and −20°C. Since high concentrations of NH4CN are obtainable only by freezing, this prebiotic synthesis would be applicable to frozen regions of the primitive Earth, the Jovian satellite Europa and other icy satellites, and the parent body of the Murchison meteorite.

Key words: Guanine — Adenine — NH4CN polymerization 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew  Levy
    • 1
  • Stanley L.  Miller
    • 1
  • John  Oró
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0506, USAUS

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