Biogenic substance

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A biogenic substance is a product made by or of life forms. The term encompasses constituents, secretions, and metabolites of plants or animals. [1] In context of molecular biology, biogenic substances are referred to as biomolecules.

Animal kingdom of motile multicellular eukaryotic heterotrophic organisms

Animals are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals consume organic material, breathe oxygen, are able to move, can reproduce sexually, and grow from a hollow sphere of cells, the blastula, during embryonic development. Over 1.5 million living animal species have been described—of which around 1 million are insects—but it has been estimated there are over 7 million animal species in total. Animals range in length from 8.5 millionths of a metre to 33.6 metres (110 ft) and have complex interactions with each other and their environments, forming intricate food webs. The category includes humans, but in colloquial use the term animal often refers only to non-human animals. The study of non-human animals is known as zoology.

Molecular biology branch of biology that deals with the molecular basis of biological activity

Molecular biology is a branch of biology that concerns the molecular basis of biological activity between biomolecules in the various systems of a cell, including the interactions between DNA, RNA, proteins and their biosynthesis, as well as the regulation of these interactions. Writing in Nature in 1961, William Astbury described molecular biology as:

...not so much a technique as an approach, an approach from the viewpoint of the so-called basic sciences with the leading idea of searching below the large-scale manifestations of classical biology for the corresponding molecular plan. It is concerned particularly with the forms of biological molecules and [...] is predominantly three-dimensional and structural – which does not mean, however, that it is merely a refinement of morphology. It must at the same time inquire into genesis and function.

Biomolecule molecule that is produced by a living organism

A biomolecule or biological molecule is a loosely used term for molecules and ions that are present in organisms, essential to some typically biological process such as cell division, morphogenesis, or development. Biomolecules include large macromolecules such as proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids, as well as small molecules such as primary metabolites, secondary metabolites, and natural products. A more general name for this class of material is biological materials. Biomolecules are usually endogenous but may also be exogenous. For example, pharmaceutical drugs may be natural products or semisynthetic (biopharmaceuticals) or they may be totally synthetic.



Coal A combustible sedimentary rock composed primarily of carbon

Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock, formed as rock strata called coal seams. Coal is mostly carbon with variable amounts of other elements; chiefly hydrogen, sulfur, oxygen, and nitrogen. Coal is formed if dead plant matter decays into peat and over millions of years the heat and pressure of deep burial converts the peat into coal.

Petroleum naturally occurring flammable liquid

Petroleum is a naturally occurring, yellowish-black liquid found in geological formations beneath the Earth's surface. It is commonly refined into various types of fuels. Components of petroleum are separated using a technique called fractional distillation, i.e. separation of a liquid mixture into fractions differing in boiling point by means of distillation, typically using a fractionating column.

Chalk A soft, white, porous sedimentary rock made of calcium carbonate

Chalk is a soft, white, porous, sedimentary carbonate rock, a form of limestone composed of the mineral calcite. Calcite is an ionic salt called calcium carbonate or CaCO3. It forms under reasonably deep marine conditions from the gradual accumulation of minute calcite shells (coccoliths) shed from micro-organisms called coccolithophores. Flint (a type of chert) is very common as bands parallel to the bedding or as nodules embedded in chalk. It is probably derived from sponge spicules or other siliceous organisms as water is expelled upwards during compaction. Flint is often deposited around larger fossils such as Echinoidea which may be silicified (i.e. replaced molecule by molecule by flint).

Abiogenic (opposite)

An abiogenic substance or process does not result from the present or past activity of living organisms. Abiogenic products may, e.g., be minerals, other inorganic compounds, as well as simple organic compounds (e.g. extraterrestrial methane, see also abiogenesis).

Organism Any individual living physical entity

In biology, an organism is any individual entity that exhibits the properties of life. It is a synonym for "life form".

Mineral Element or chemical compound that is normally crystalline and that has been formed as a result of geological processes

A mineral is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound that occurs naturally in pure form. A rock may consist of a single mineral, or may be an aggregate of two or more different minerals, spacially segregated into distinct phases. Compounds that occur only in living beings are usually excluded, but some minerals are often biogenic and/or are organic compounds in the sense of chemistry. Moreover, living beings often syntesize inorganic minerals that also occur in rocks.

An inorganic compound is typically a chemical compound that lacks C-H bonds, that is, a compound that is not an organic compound, but the distinction is not defined or even of particular interest.

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Organic compound chemical compound that contains carbon (except for a several compounds traditionally classified as inorganic compounds)

In chemistry, an organic compound is generally any chemical compound that contains carbon. Due to carbon's ability to catenate, millions of organic compounds are known. Study of the properties and synthesis of organic compounds is the discipline known as organic chemistry. For historical reasons, a few classes of carbon-containing compounds, along with a handful of other exceptions, are not classified as organic compounds and are considered inorganic. No consensus exists among chemists on precisely which carbon-containing compounds are excluded, making the definition of an organic compound elusive. Although organic compounds make up only a small percentage of the Earth's crust, they are of central importance because all known life is based on organic compounds. Most synthetically produced organic compounds are ultimately derived from petrochemicals consisting mainly of hydrocarbons.

Zircon Zirconium silicate, a mineral belonging to the group of nesosilicates

Zircon ( or ) is a mineral belonging to the group of nesosilicates. Its chemical name is zirconium silicate, and its corresponding chemical formula is ZrSiO4. A common empirical formula showing some of the range of substitution in zircon is (Zr1–y, REEy)(SiO4)1–x(OH)4x–y. Zircon forms in silicate melts with large proportions of high field strength incompatible elements. For example, hafnium is almost always present in quantities ranging from 1 to 4%. The crystal structure of zircon is tetragonal crystal system. The natural color of zircon varies between colorless, yellow-golden, red, brown, blue and green. Colorless specimens that show gem quality are a popular substitute for diamond and are also known as "Matura diamond".

Resin solid or highly viscous substance of plant or synthetic origin

In polymer chemistry and materials science, resin is a solid or highly viscous substance of plant or synthetic origin that is typically convertible into polymers. Resins are usually mixtures of organic compounds. This article focuses on naturally-occurring resins.

Gland type of organ in an human or animals body

A gland is a group of cells in an animal's body that synthesizes substances for release into the bloodstream or into cavities inside the body or its outer surface.

A nutrient is a substance used by an organism to survive, grow, and reproduce. The requirement for dietary nutrient intake applies to animals, plants, fungi, and protists. Nutrients can be incorporated into cells for metabolic purposes or excreted by cells to create non-cellular structures, such as hair, scales, feathers, or exoskeletons. Some nutrients can be metabolically converted to smaller molecules in the process of releasing energy, such as for carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and fermentation products, leading to end-products of water and carbon dioxide. All organisms require water. Essential nutrients for animals are the energy sources, some of the amino acids that are combined to create proteins, a subset of fatty acids, vitamins and certain minerals. Plants require more diverse minerals absorbed through roots, plus carbon dioxide and oxygen absorbed through leaves. Fungi live on dead or living organic matter and meet nutrient needs from their host.

Exocrine gland gland that produces and secretes substances onto an epithelial surface by way of a duct

Exocrine glands are glands that produce and secrete substances onto an epithelial surface by way of a duct. Examples of exocrine glands include sweat, salivary, mammary, ceruminous, lacrimal, sebaceous, and mucous. Exocrine glands are one of two types of glands in the human body, the other being endocrine glands, which secrete their products directly into the bloodstream. The liver and pancreas are both exocrine and endocrine glands; they are exocrine glands because they secrete products—bile and pancreatic juice—into the gastrointestinal tract through a series of ducts, and endocrine because they secrete other substances directly into the bloodstream.

Diagenesis The change of sediments or existing sedimentary rocks into a different sedimentary rock

Diagenesis is the change of sediments or existing sedimentary rocks into a different sedimentary rock during and after rock formation (lithification), at temperatures and pressures less than that required for the formation of metamorphic rocks. It does not include changes from weathering. It is any chemical, physical, or biological change undergone by a sediment after its initial deposition, after its lithification. This process excludes surface alteration (weathering) and metamorphism. These changes happen at relatively low temperatures and pressures and result in changes to the rock's original mineralogy and texture. There is no sharp boundary between diagenesis and metamorphism, but the latter occurs at higher temperatures and pressures. Hydrothermal solutions, meteoric groundwater, porosity, permeability, solubility, and time are all influential factors.

Musk component of perfumes

Musk is a class of aromatic substances commonly used as base notes in perfumery. They include glandular secretions from animals such as the musk deer, numerous plants emitting similar fragrances, and artificial substances with similar odors. Musk was a name originally given to a substance with a strong odor obtained from a gland of the musk deer. The substance has been used as a popular perfume fixative since ancient times and is one of the most expensive animal products in the world. The name originates from the Late Greek μόσχος 'moskhos', from Persian 'mushk', ultimately from Sanskrit मुष्क muṣka meaning "a testicle", from a diminutive of मूष् mūṣ ("mouse"). The deer gland was thought to resemble a scrotum. It is applied to various plants and animals of similar smell and has come to encompass a wide variety of aromatic substances with similar odors, despite their often differing chemical structures and molecular shapes.

Excretion elimination by an organism of the waste products that arise as a result of metabolic activity

Excretion is a process by which metabolic waste is eliminated from an organism. In vertebrates this is primarily carried out by the lungs, kidneys and skin. This is in contrast with secretion, where the substance may have specific tasks after leaving the cell. Excretion is an essential process in all forms of life. For example, in mammals urine is expelled through the urethra, which is part of the excretory system. In unicellular organisms, waste products are discharged directly through the surface of the cell.

A biogenic amine is a biogenic substance with one or more amine groups. They are basic nitrogenous compounds formed mainly by decarboxylation of amino acids or by amination and transamination of aldehydes and ketones. Biogenic amines are organic bases with low molecular weight and are synthesized by microbial, vegetable and animal metabolisms. In food and beverages they are formed by the enzymes of raw material or are generated by microbial decarboxylation of amino acids.

Pharmacognosy study of medicines derived from natural sources

Pharmacognosy is the study of plants or other natural sources as a possible source of drugs. The American Society of Pharmacognosy defines pharmacognosy as "the study of the physical, chemical, biochemical and biological properties of drugs, drug substances or potential drugs or drug substances of natural origin as well as the search for new drugs from natural sources".

Abiogenic petroleum origin is a term used to describe a number of different hypotheses which propose that petroleum and natural gas deposits are mostly formed by inorganic means rather than by the decomposition of organisms. Thomas Gold's deep gas hypothesis states that the origin of some natural gas deposits were formed out of hydrocarbons deep in the earth's mantle. Theories explaining the origin of petroleum as abiotic, however, generally not well accepted by the scientific community.

Siljan (lake) lake in Sweden

Siljan, in Dalarna in central Sweden, is Sweden's sixth largest lake. The cumulative area of Siljan and the adjacent, smaller lakes Orsasjön and Insjön is 354 km2 (137 sq mi). Siljan reaches a maximum depth of 134 m (440 ft), and its surface is situated 161 m (528 ft) above sea level. The largest town on its shore is Mora.

A biosignature is any substance – such as an element, isotope, or molecule – or phenomenon that provides scientific evidence of past or present life. Measurable attributes of life include its complex physical and chemical structures and also its utilization of free energy and the production of biomass and wastes. Due to its unique characteristics, a biosignature can be interpreted as having been produced by living organisms; however, it is important that they not be considered definitive because there is no way of knowing in advance which ones are universal to life and which ones are unique to the peculiar circumstances of life on Earth. Nonetheless, life forms are known to shed unique chemicals, including DNA, into the environment as evidence of their presence in a particular location.

Natural product chemical compound or substance produced by a living organism, found in nature

A natural product is a chemical compound or substance produced by a living organism—that is, found in nature. In the broadest sense, natural products include any substance produced by life. Natural products can also be prepared by chemical synthesis and have played a central role in the development of the field of organic chemistry by providing challenging synthetic targets. The term natural product has also been extended for commercial purposes to refer to cosmetics, dietary supplements, and foods produced from natural sources without added artificial ingredients.

Pelagic sediment or pelagite is a fine-grained sediment that accumulates as the result of the settling of particles to the floor of the open ocean, far from land. These particles consist primarily of either the microscopic, calcareous or siliceous shells of phytoplankton or zooplankton; clay-size siliciclastic sediment; or some mixture of these. Trace amounts of meteoric dust and variable amounts of volcanic ash also occur within pelagic sediments. Based upon the composition of the ooze, there are three main types of pelagic sediments: siliceous oozes, calcareous oozes, and red clays.

An oil is any nonpolar chemical substance that is a viscous liquid at ambient temperatures and is both hydrophobic and lipophilic. Oils have a high carbon and hydrogen content and are usually flammable and surface active.

Merriam-Webster defines chemotaxonomy as the method of biological classification based on similarities in the structure of certain compounds among the organisms being classified. Advocates argue that, because proteins are more closely controlled by genes and less subjected to natural selection than the anatomical features, they are more reliable indicators of genetic relationships. The compounds studied most are proteins, amino acids, nucleic acids, peptides etc.


The term dubiofossil is a portmanteau word used in geology and paleontology for a problematic structure that looks like a fossil, but whose biologic origin is uncertain.. It has been mainly used for remains found in rocks dating from the early history of the Earth, but is also applicable in other settings such as problematic microbe-like forms in meteorites.


  1. Raju Francis, D.; Sakthi, Kumar (2016). Biomedical Applications of Polymeric Materials and Composites. John Wiley & Sons.