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A purine type nucleic acid extracted from Guano and fish scales. Guanine crystals are rhombic platelets composed of multiple layers. They are transparent but have a high index of refraction that produces a pearly luster. Guanine is used as a nacreous pigment called Pearl color.

Chemical structure


Synonyms and Related Terms

2-amino-6-oxypurine; Natural White 1; CI 75170; gaunina (Esp., Port.); pearl essence; imitation pearl; nacreous pigment; guanin; guanine enol; dew pearl; 2-amino-1,7-dihydro-6H-purin-6-one; 2-aminohypoxanthine; 2-amino hypoxanthine


  • Skin contact may cause irritation.
  • Possible carcinogen. Teratogen and mutagen (animals)
  • Fisher Scientific: MSDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in ammonia water, dilute bases, dilute acids. Slightly soluble in ethanol, ether. Insoluble in water.

Composition C5H5H5O
CAS 73-40-5
Melting Point 360 C
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 151.13

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 379
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 4593

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