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What is the Sakaguchi test?

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Quick Answer

The Sakaguchi test is a chemical test that is used to test for certain amino acids and proteins. The amino acid it is used to test for is arginine.

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Full Answer

The Sakaguchi test is a chemical test that was named after the scientist who first described it in 1925, Schoyo Sakaguchi. The test is performed with what is known as the Sakaguchi reagent, a combination of 1-naphthol and sodium hypobromite. When the reactant is added, the guanidine group in arginine reacts with it to form a reddish color.

The guanidine group is a carbon group with a single bond to two nitrogen atoms and a double bond to one nitrogen atom. The Sakaguchi test contains sodium hypobromite, an oxidizing agent. The reaction of the oxidation with the guanidine group is what gives the results a reddish color.

According to Reference.com, the reagents used in the Sakaguchi test are fairly dangerous. A safer test that yields similar results is the Biuret Test. This test can also be used to test for arginine and other substances, but the reagents used are sodium hydroxide, copper sulphate and potassium sodium tartrate, which are safer than the substances used in the Sakaguchi test. The Biuret test yields a blue-to-pink color change as a result of the test.

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