Origins of life

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 45–49 | Cite as

Uracil synthesisvia HCN oligomerization

  • Andries B. Voet
  • Alan W. Schwartz


Uracil is released from HCN oligomers upon acid hydrolysis in concentrations of 0.001% for 1M HCN solutions to 0.005% for 0.1M solutions. This yield is comparable with earlier reported, minor or nonbiological pyrimidines such as 5-hydroxyuracil and orotic acid. This is the first report of uracil itselfvia HCN oligomerization. Data are presented which establish that the observed uracil is not formed by decarboxylation of previously formed orotic acid, butvia acid hydrolysis of at least two other precursors.


Hydrolysis Organic Chemistry Geochemistry Oligomerization Pyrimidine 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Co. 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andries B. Voet
    • 1
  • Alan W. Schwartz
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of ExobiologyFaculty of Science, The UniversityNijmegenThe Netherlands

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