Single crystals of 9-methyladenine were X-irradiated at 10 K and at 65 K and were studied using K-band EPR, ENDOR and field-swept ENDOR (FSE) techniques in the temperature range 10 K to 290 K. Three major radicals are stabilized in 9-methyladenine at 10 K. These are: MA1, the adenine anion, probably protonated at N3; MA2, the species formed by net hydrogen abstraction from the 9-methyl group; and MA3, the radical formed by net hydrogen addition to C8 of the adenine moiety. Radical MA1 decayed at about 80 K, possibly into the C2 H adduct (MA4). The other two species (MA2, MA3) were stable at room temperature. A fifth radical species was clearly present in the EPR spectra at 10 K but was not detectable by ENDOR. This species, which decayed above 200 K (possibly into MA3), remains unidentified. The radical population at room temperature is as described by previous authors. The mechanisms for radical formation in 9-methyladenine are discussed in light of the hydrogen bonding scheme and molecular stacking interactions.

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