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Thesis (M.S.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1972. Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition.


Copyright 1972, the author. Used by permission.


This study was conducted to examine the possibility of using deuterium in the drinking water as a means of obtaining information about the biosynthesis of some of the non-essential amino acids in birds. The Japanese quail, Coturnix coturnix japonica, was used as the experimental animal and the extent of deuterium incorporation into some of the amino acids of egg white was determined. Alanine, glycine, serine, proline, glutamic acid and aspartic acid were selected as the amino acid control, since it is an essential amino acid for birds.

The amino acids were isolated from the egg white proteins, after acid hydrolysis, by ion exchange chromatography and analyzed for deuterium content by mass spectrometry of their respective dansyl derivatives.

The composition of the mixture of partially deuterated species of each amino acid was calculated from the relative intensity of the peaks appearing in the molecular ion region of the corresponding mass spectra. The amount of monolabeled molecules of each amino acid, expressed in mole percent, was found to be 4.88 ± 0.539 for threonine, 34.63 ± 1.090 for alanine, 20.28 ± 1.24 for glycine, 26.07 ± 0.539 for serine, 6.47 ± 0.914 for proline, 26.69 ± 2.46 for glutamic acid and 10.33 ± 0.246 for aspartic acid.

Advisor: Richard Dam