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Any one of a class of carbohydrates containing five atoms of carbon.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a monosaccharide that contains five carbon atoms per molecule. In nature, pentoses do not occur in the free state but are present in various glycosides and polysaccharides that are commonly found in plants; these include arabinose and xylose. The pentoses ribose and 2-deoxyribose are constituents of nucleic acids. Nucleoside-diphosphate sugars participate in the insertion of arabinose and xylose into complex carbohydrates. Ribose in the form of ribose-5-phosphate, which takes part in the biosynthesis of nucleotides, is formed as an intermediate product in photosynthesis and in the pentose-phosphate cycle. Pentoses are converted by mineral acids into furfurol, a valuable raw material in the chemical industry.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
cerevisiae that prefer six-carbon sugars with yeasts that produce efficient ethanol from five-carbon sugars is also another alternative to optimize ethanol in hydrolysates containing xylose [4, 9,10].
Earlier work showed that TNA can pair up with DNA and RNA, and TNA's four-carbon sugar threose is a simpler molecule than the five-carbon sugars found in DNA and RNA.
Glycolaldehyde can react with a three-carbon sugar to produce a five-carbon sugar called ribose.