Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso


  • Shin Miyakawa
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_1104-3


Oligomerization is a chemical process that links monomeric compounds (e.g., amino acids, nucleotides, or monosaccharides) to form dimers, trimers, tetramers, or longer chain molecules (oligomers). Examples are the conversion of nucleotides to oligonucleotides and amino acids to peptides. The boundary between what is considered an oligomer and a polymer is unclear, but it is usually accepted to be in the range of 10–100 monomer units. Prebiotic experiments have shown that activated nucleotides can be oligomerized using clay minerals as catalyst.

See Also


Chemical Process Clay Mineral Bioorganic Chemistry Monomer Unit Longe Chain 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ribomic IncTokyoJapan