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CAS number 583-50-6 (D) YesY, 533-49-3 (L) YesY
PubChem 94176 (D)
ChemSpider 84990 (D) YesY
ChEBI CHEBI:27904 YesY
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Image 2
Molecular formula C4H8O4
Molar mass 120.10 g mol−1
Appearance Light yellow syrup
Solubility in water Very soluble
NFPA 704
Flammability code 1: Must be pre-heated before ignition can occur. Flash point over 93 °C (200 °F). E.g., canola oil Health code 1: Exposure would cause irritation but only minor residual injury. E.g., turpentine Reactivity code 0: Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water. E.g., liquid nitrogen Special hazards (white): no codeNFPA 704 four-colored diamond
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
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Infobox references

Erythrose is a tetrose carbohydrate with the chemical formula C4H8O4. It has one aldehyde group, and so is part of the aldose family. The natural isomer is D-erythrose.

Fischer projections

Erythrose was first isolated in January 1850 from rhubarb by M. Garot, and was named as such because of its red hue in the presence of alkali metals (ἐρυθρός, "red").[2]

Erythrose 4-phosphate is an intermediate in the pentose phosphate pathway[3] and the Calvin cycle.[4]

Erythrulose, an isomer of erythrose, is non-toxic.[5]

Oxidative bacteria can be made to use erythrose as its sole energy source.[6]


  1. ^ Merck Index, 11th Edition, 3637
  2. ^ Wells, David Ames; Cross, Charles Robert; Bliss, George; Trowbridge, John; Nichols, William Ripley; Kneeland, Samuel (1851). Annual of Scientific Discovery. Boston: Gould, Kendall, and Lincoln. p. 211. Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Kruger, Nicholas J; von Schaewen, Antje (June 2003). "The oxidative pentose phosphate pathway: structure and organisation". Current Opinion in Plant Biology 6 (3): 236–246. doi:10.1016/S1369-5266(03)00039-6. Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  4. ^ Schwender, Jörg; Goffman, Fernando; Ohlrogge, John B.; Shachar-Hill, Yair (9 December 2004). "Rubisco without the Calvin cycle improves the carbon efficiency of developing green seeds". Nature 432 (7018): 779–782. doi:10.1038/nature03145. Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  5. '^ National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS). Erythrulose. Australia February 11, 2008.
  6. ^ Hiatt, Howard H; Horecker, B L (13 October 1955). "D-erythrose metabolism in a strain of Alcaligenes faecalis". Journal of Bacteriology 71 (6): 649–654. Retrieved 11 December 2014.