10 Examples of Monosaccharides

Monosaccharides are the simplest form of carbohydrates. Examples of Monosaccharides include glucose, a major energy source for cells; fructose, an extremely sweet sugar found in fruits and honey; galactose, which combines with glucose to form lactose in milk; xylose, found in wood for use as a sweetener; and ribose, a component of RNA and ATP energy molecules.

Alao read: Examples of Compounds

Examples of Monosaccharides 

Here are a few examples of monosaccharides:

1: Glucose

Glucose is the most common simple sugar found in nature. It has 6 carbon atoms arranged in a ring shape. Glucose provides energy for plants and animals.

Image shwoing Glucose as one of the most common examples of Monosaccharides 

It makes up about 80% of the carbohydrates used by the human body.

2: Fructose

Fructose is a 6-carbon monosaccharide commonly known as fruit sugar. It has the same chemical formula as glucose but differs in its structure.

image showing Fructose as an example of monosacchrides

Fructose is 1.2 to 1.8 times sweeter than sucrose table sugar.

3: Galactose

Galactose is a 6-carbon sugar that combines with glucose to create the milk disaccharide lactose with less sweetness.

image showing Galactose as an example of monosacchrides

Over 65% of adults lose the ability to properly digest lactose.

4: Ribose

Ribose is a 5-carbon monosaccharide and a component of RNA (ribonucleic acid). It has a structure with four oxygen-containing corners.

image showing Ribose as an example of monosacchrides

It forms half of RNA nucleotides while deoxyribose composes DNA nucleotides.

5: Deoxyribose

Deoxyribose is similar to ribose but with one less oxygen-containing corner in its 5-carbon structure. It is a component of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid).

image showing Deoxyribose as an example of monosacchrides

Losing one oxygen atom changes the shape and bonds available for DNA.

6: Ribulose

Ribulose is a 5-carbon monosaccharide involved in plant photosynthesis as part of the Calvin cycle to fix carbon dioxide. Its structure enables this role.

image ahowing Ribulose as an example of monosacchrides

It makes up over 75% of Earth’s total annual carbohydrate production through photosynthesis.

7: Xylose

Xylose is a 5-carbon aldopentose monosaccharide that forms part of hemicellulose along with other sugars. It has a 5-sided ring structure.

image showing Xylose as an example of monosacchrides

After glucose it is the second most abundant sugar derived from plants.

8: Arabinose

Arabinose is another 5-carbon aldopentose monosaccharide with a structure very similar to xylose but slightly different spatial arrangement.

image showing Arabinose as an example of monosacchrides

Bacteria release arabinose polymers to shield themselves from the immune system.

9: Rhamnose

Rhamnose is a 6-carbon sugar that slightly differs from glucose to interact with host-adapted bacteria helping them bind cells. It differs from glucose by just one OH molecular group placement, giving it distinct roles.

image showing Rhamnose as an example of monosacchrides

Up to 12% of bacteria surface sugars are rhamnose to enable host binding.

10: Fucose

Fucose is a 6-carbon blood group antigen sugar that determines blood type via its unique molecular shape. Fucose is in cell surface biomarker antigens that determine blood types. Its structure expresses antigenicity.

image showing Fucose as an example of monosacchrides

Fucose constitutes 0.5-1% of cell surface sugars but plays major antigenic roles

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