Galactose Pyranose Molecule Structure

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Galactose has the chemical formula C6H12O6. D-galactose is the linear form. It has a carbonyl group at C1 , forming an aldehyde, 6 carbon aldohexose reducing sugar. In humans and other mammals it occurs mainly as the 6 carbon ringed structure, beta-D-galactopyranose (as shown in the image) which combines with glucose to from the disaccharide lactose, or milk sugar. Note its only difference to glucose is the position of the "OH" group at the carbon 4 position. 

You can use our 3D Molecular Model Builder to illustrate galactose in any of its 5 forms. First choose the model style: "Orbit-flexible". Then choose which structure you want to view/build. Simply enter galactose for the linear molecule, note the carbonyl at carbon 6. Enter alpha-d-galactopyranose or beta-d-galactopyranose to view 6 member rings; alpha-d-galactofuranose or beta-d-galactofuranose for 5 member rings.

Galactose is an aldose, hexose, reducing sugar whose anomeric carbon forms a hemiacetal functional group in the linear form. Cyclic forms include 2 pyranose (6 members) & 2 furanose (5 members). Of these, galactofuranose occurs mainly in bacteria, fungi & protists.

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You can also build galactose with our advanced student organic chemistry model set or the class organic chemistry model set. The class biochemistry model set will build the linear version of galactose in the Orbit x-peg style.

You can build any 6 carbon sugar ring with our AtoMag magnetic molecular model. Quickly change the position of any oxygen atom to show different structural isomers; magnetic hydrogens are optional. If you buy two, you can build any disaccharide.

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