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Physical properties of insect cuticular hydrocarbons: The effects of chain length, methyl-branching and unsaturation

Physical properties of insect cuticular hydrocarbons: The effects of chain length, methyl-branching and unsaturation,10.1016/0305-0491(95)00081-X,Comp

Physical properties of insect cuticular hydrocarbons: The effects of chain length, methyl-branching and unsaturation   (Citations: 40)
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The waterproofing abilities of insect cuticular lipids, consisting mainly of hydrocarbons, are thought to depend upon their biophysical properties. However, little is known regarding the effects of specific structural changes upon cuticular lipid properties. We examined the phase behavior of pure hydrocarbons differing in chain length, methyl-branching pattern, and unsaturation, using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Melting temperatures (Tm) of 21–40 carbon n-alkanes increased by 1–3°C for an increase in backbone chain length of one carbon atom. The effects of methyl-branching on hydrocarbon properties depended upon the location of the methyl group along the molecule. Melting temperatures of 25-carbon long methylpentacosanes decreased by over 30°C as the location of the methyl moiety was shifted from the terminal portion of the molecule to more internal positions. Addition of a second methyl branch had additional effects on Tm. Unsaturation decreased Tm by 50°C or more.
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