Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Document Type


Date of this Version



Thesis (M.S.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1960. Department of Chemistry.


Copyright 1960, the author. Used by permission.


The investigation reported in this thesis includes a comparative study of the sialic acid content of numerous avian egg whites, the distribution of sialic acid in the constituents of the chicken egg and an attempt to correlate the presence of sialic acid in the structural elements of the egg to their properties with emphasis on those structural elements and properties which exhibit changes during the incubation of intact infertile eggs.

  1. The sialic acid isolated from egg white has been crystallized and identified as N-acetylneuraminic acid.

  2. Of the sialic acid in egg white, approximately 40 per cent occurs in the ovomucin fraction, about 30 per cent occurs in the ovomucoid, less than 2 per cent occurs in the flavoprotein and a major portion of the remainder occurs in previously unidentified constituents of the egg white. Essentially none of the sialic acid of the egg white occurs in low molecular weight dialyzable constituents.

  3. The sialic acid content of the egg whites of 23 avian species has been determined by colorimetric assay after liberation of sialic acid by acid hydrolysis or by neuraminidase.

  4. Yolk membranes and chalazae contain greater than 2 per cent sialic acid. No correlation was found between the presence of sialic acid and the stability of yolk membranes as determined by alkaline incubation.

Advisor: Robert E. Feeney