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I am a 12th grader in India. I have understood basic theory on biomolecules. I know about carbohydates (and structures of important saccharides) and $\alpha$-amino acids, proteins, and peptides.

This is a section given in my book:

enter image description here

I understand what is the meaning of "D"-glucose, and also how to identify the functional group. But, notice the last column in this table. I don't understand what they mean by the "typical nature" in each case.

I searched the net but couldn't find anything. Is my book using obsolete/unknown terminology for an existing concept? What is it? Please tell. Thank you!

References: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3

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    $\begingroup$ Please add the citation to the book, so that it can be viewed in context. $\endgroup$ – Martin - マーチン Dec 1 '17 at 14:36
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    $\begingroup$ I never said you should upload any content. I said citation, big difference. Those pages don't really help at all. $\endgroup$ – Martin - マーチン Dec 1 '17 at 15:19
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Looks like your book's come up with a "localized" version of the D-L notation.

$\ce{D-L}$ notation in brief: A $\ce{D}$-sugar has the $\ce{-OH}$ group (on the stereogenic carbon atom on the parent chain, furthest away from the aldehyde group) facing right in the Fischer representation. Likewise an $\ce{L}$-sugar has the $\ce{-OH}$ group facing left.


What your book's attempting to do is extend the $\ce{D-L}$ classification to individual carbon atoms in the parent chain.

enter image description here

The "3rd($\ce{L}$)" bit is supposed to mean, "3rd carbon atom has an $\ce{L}$-type configuration".

The "2,3($\ce{L}$)" bit is supposed to mean, "2nd and 3rd carbon atoms have an $\ce{L}$-type configuration".

You can figure out the rest ;-)


This appears to be some sort of memory aid to help you remember the configuration of the various kinds of 6-carbon sugars. The "typical nature" term was, in all likelihood, concocted by the authors (perhaps they thought it sounds better than "mnemonic"?)

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