I am a software developer and currently parsing data involving terpene profiles of plant samples. The data in question uses different ways of naming the same terpenes in-between samples and since this is not my field I would like to ask:

  • if there is an online index showing all possible names for a specific terpene or
  • if there is a software library for normalizing those names or
  • if somebody could simply tell me which ones of the attached list are the same terpene and what the recommended naming scheme would be

The list of terpenes I am concerned with is as follows:

  • 3-Carene
  • α-Bisabolol
  • α-Humulene
  • α-Pinene
  • α-Terpinene
  • β-Caryophyllene
  • β-Myrcene
  • β-Ocimene
  • β-Pinene
  • Camphene
  • Caryophyllene
  • Caryophyllene Oxide
  • CaryophylleneOxide
  • cis-Nerolidol
  • δ-Limonene
  • DLimonene
  • Eucalyptol
  • Geraniol
  • Guaiol
  • Humulene
  • Isopulegol
  • Linalool
  • Ocimene
  • PCymene
  • p-Cymene
  • Terpinolene
  • trans-Nerolidol
  • TransNerolidol 1
  • TransNerolidol 2
  • trans-Ocimene
  • γ-Terpinene

(Some of those names are obvious duplicates of others, but I just wanted to give you the full, unaltered list here)

If anyone could point me in the right direction I would be very grateful!

  • $\begingroup$ Chemical naming is a disaster! For example just look at the 25 different names (non-codes) for Humulene on pubchem: pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/5281520#section=Synonyms It is very common for databases and publications to use non-standard names and thus it is a real problem in the field of chemistry. $\endgroup$ – Nathan Lloyd Aug 14 '18 at 21:31

Chemical nomenclature is officially defined by IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry). You can find most IUPAC names for these terpenic compounds by searching their popular names on Wikipedia, they are quite long and confusing terms though, and can only be interpreted if you have a certain knowledge in organic/inorganic chemistry.

What you are probably more interested in are databases with hundreds of thousands of compounds with unique identifying numbers that are unequivocally assigned to a specific substance. Two of the largest are CAS Index (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAS_Registry_Number) and ChemSpider (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ChemSpider). I believe working with numbers will facilitate your work a lot, so I would suggest that you look for one of these databases (but be careful, each database uses a different numbering system so you should pick one and stick to it).

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