Polysaccharides

Examples and uses of polysaccharides in plants and animals as storage and structural components

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  • Polysaccharides
    • Polymers
      • Made up of monomers- 3 or more
        • Smallest polysaccharide is made up of 3 monosaccharide monomers
        • mainly made up of thousands of monomers
          • gives them a massive size and makes them insoluble
            • Gives them either a storage of structural function
      • molecules linked together by glycosidic bonds
        • chemical link
    • Why is being insoluble in water important?
      • No osmotic effect on cells
      • large molecules so can't diffuse out of cells
      • Don't taste sweet (starch)
      • Compact- increased storage of glucose for energy release
    • Examples of Polysaccharides
      • Storage (alpha glucose)
        • animals
      • Structure (beta glucose)
        • plants
          • Cellulose
            • Most important component of the cell wall
              • gives the plant rigidity and high tensile strength to prevent cells from bursting
            • glucose monomers form long straight chains
              • each molecule rotated 180 degrees from the previous one
                • allows hydrogen bonds to form cross links between the OH groups of neighbouring chains
            • Cellulose Fibre
              • Thousands of cellulose polymers link together by hydrogen bonds
                • These form cellulose microfibrils embedded in a polysaccharide matrix
                  • many fibrils group together to form Cellulose Fibre
              • Large number of hydrogen bonds between adjacent parallel chains give stability
              • Cell wall built up of many running in different directions
                • Most important component of the cell wall
                  • gives the plant rigidity and high tensile strength to prevent cells from bursting
        • animals
          • Chitin
            • Similar to Cellulose
            • one of the OH groups of each monosaccharide is replaced by an amino acid
              • forms a mucopolysaccharide
                • strong
                • waterproof
                • light weight
            • exoskeleton of insects
  • Glycogen
    • animals
    • storage carbohydrate found in liver and muscle
    • 1-4 and 1-6 glycosidic bonds
      • makes it more branched because animals need more energy as they have more functions

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