Monosaccharide examples and definition

monosaccharide examples
By Dietmar Rabich, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Monosaccharide Definition

Monosaccharides are known as simple sugars with a formula Cn (H2O)n. In Greek the word monosaccharide means (mono-one and saccharide- sugar). they are the simplest group of carbohydrates that can not be hydrolyzed more. The definition of monosaccharide is such sugars that on hydrolysis yield no further lower sugars. The following articles are about classifications and monosaccharide examples.

Monosaccharides classification

Based on the functional group they are classified into the following

Aldoses: here the functional group is aldehyde examples are glyceraldehyde and glucose.

Ketoses: here the functional group is keto examples are dihydroxyacetone and fructose.

Number of carbons Aldoses Ketoses
3 Aldotriose Glycerose CHO-CHOH-CH2OH Ketotriose or triulose Dihydroxyacetone CH2OH-CO-CH2OH
4 Aldotetrose Erythrose CHO- (CHOH)2-CH2OH Ketoterose or terulose Erythrulose CH2OH-CO-CHOH-CH2OH
5 Pentose or Aldopentose Ribose CHO-(CHOH)3-CH2OH Pentulose or Ketopentose Ribulose CH2OH-CO-(CHOH)2-CH2OH
6 Hexose or aldohexose Glucose CHO-(CHOH)4-CH2OH Hexulose or Ketohexose Fructose CH2OH-CO-(CHOH)3-CH2OH

Based on the number of carbon atoms they are divided into

  1. Trioses with 3 C or 3 carbon atoms.
  2. Tetroses with 4 C or 4 carbon atoms.
  3. Pentose with 5 C or 5 carbon atoms.
  4. Hexose with 6 C or six carbon atoms.
  5. Heptose with 7 C or 7 carbon atoms.

Some monosaccharide examples and their source, biochemical importance are as follows

Monosaccharides Source Biochemical functions
Trioses Glyceraldehyde (an aldose) Dihydroxyacetone (a ketose) Found in the cell as a phosphate Both are intermediate in the glycolysis cycle.
Tetroses Erythrose Threose Widespread Yield tartaric and mesotartaric acids

RNA structure
DNA structure
Function of glycoproteins
Starch, Glycogen, and Cellulose
Plant polysaccharide
Fruits and Honey
Energy source
Converted into glucose
Structure of polysaccharides
Glycolysis cycle


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