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Title: Reduced oxidation state phosphorus in prebiotic chemistry
Author: Marriott, Katie Elizabeth Rose
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis analyses two different yet related chemical systems, both compatible with putative early earth geological environments, which could have readily and rapidly led to structurally complex molecules under mild, anaerobic aqueous conditions. In the first system, we report an example of the selective reactivity of H-phosphinic acid towards carbonyls which leads to interesting molecular architectures, some having structural motifs reminiscent of those in phosphor-sugars. The second system is based on H-phosphonic acid and its potential to be converted to condensed P-oxyacids which may have had some functional value within prebiotic environments. Chapter 2 outlines the reaction between H-phosphinic acid and pyruvic acid, and the various products that are produced under different environments, such as in the presence of metal ions, organics and at different pH. Chapter 3 discusses the structure of trieth-3 and compares the similarities with RNA. Molecular modelling using X-ray data of trieth-3 is used to evaluate the stability of it's structure in aqueous solution. The reaction between H-phosphinic acid and other prebiotically relelvant ketones is also described. Chapter 4 outlines the formation of pyrophosphite and its use as a possible prebiotic , phosphonylating agent. Chapter 5 outlines the reactions between glycerol and fatty acids and pyrophosphite as phosphonylating agent for this system. Chapter 6 discusses the use of ice eutectic conditions to investigate some of the reactions above at low concentrations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available