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What is the difference between alpha and beta glucose?

1 Answer
Dec 4, 2015

Answer:

They differ in the orientation of the #"OH"# group at #"C-1"#.

Explanation:

When the straight-chain form of glucose closes to form a ring, it forms a new chiral centre at #"C-1"#.

This gives two different structures.

Their Haworth formulas are

www.bio.miami.edu
Structure 1

and

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Structure 2

To assign the α or β configurations to these forms, you look at the relative positions of #"C-6"# and the #"OH"# group on #"C-1"#.

In the α- form (Structure 1), the #"OH"# group on #"C-1"# is on the opposite side of the ring from #"C-6"#.

In the β- form (Structure 2), the #"OH"# group on #"C-1"# is on the same side of the ring as #"C-6"#.