Branched long chain fatty acids in bacteria from the bovine rumen : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Agricultural Science in Animal Science at Massey University
Fatty acids containing a branched carbon skeleton have been isolated from different sources, and in most cases the branch chain consists of a single methyl group. The branched chain fatty acids have been named according to two different conventions. According to one system the branched chain fatty acid is regarded as having a straight chain with a methyl side group on one of the carbon atoms and the name of the acid is derived from that of the straight chain acid to which the methyl group is attached. For example, a brainched chain fatty acid containing c-15 carbon atoms, with a methyl group on carbon atom 13, is known as 13-methyltetradecanoic acid.
The second system of naming branched chain fatty acids is applicable only in the case of fatty acids having the methyl side chain on the penultimate, or ante-penultimate carbon atom. Branched chain fatty acids having a methyl group on the penultimate carbon atom belong to the iso fatty acid series. For example, 13-methyltetradecanoic acid is also termed isopentadecanoic acid. If the methyl group is on the ante-penultimate carbon atom the fatty acid belongs to the (+)-anteiso fatty acid series. An example of this series of acids is (+)-12-methyltetradecanoic acid, or (+)-anteisopentadecanoic acid.