Starch, Glycogen, Cellulose and Plant Cell Structure

AQA Biology Unit 2

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  • Created by: Ali
  • Created on: 06-05-12 11:21


  • polysaccharide
  • found in many parts of a plant
  • energy/food store
  • made up of chains of alpha-glucose
  • insoluble - no water into cell by osmosis, doesn't easily diffuse out of cells
  • compact so lots can be stored in small space
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  • similar to strach but shorted chains and more highly branched
  • carbohydate storage product of animals
  • readily hydrolysed to alpha-glucose
  • insoluble - no osmosis, doesn't easily diffuse out
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  • made up of beta-glucose
  • straight, unbranched chains
  • hydrgogen bonds between chains
  • lots of hydrogen bonds strengthen it
  • component of plant cell walls
  • prevents the cell bursting from osmosis
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Leaf Palisade Cell

This carries out photosynthesis and it's main features suit this function.

  • long, thin cells to absorb sunlight
  • numerous chloroplasts to collect maxiumum amount of light
  • large vacuole that pushes the cytoplasm and chloroplasts to the edge of the cell.
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  • Chloroplast envelope - surrounds organelle and selective on what enters and leaves.
  • Grana - stacks of thylakoids. These contain chlorophyll.
  • Stroma - fluid-filled matrix.

Chloroplasts are adapted to their funtion of harvesting sunlight by:

  • granal membranes provide large surface area for attached of chlorophyll, electron carriers and enzymes.
  • fluid of the stroma possesses all the enzymes needed for photosynthesis.
  • contain DNA and ribosomes so they can quickly manufacture proteins needed for photosynthesis.
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Cell Wall

  • consist of polysaccharides (e.g. cellulose).
  • thin layer (middle lamella) which marks the boundary between adjacent cell walls and cements adjacent cells together.


  • provide mechanical strength to prevent it from bursting via osmosis.
  • to allow water to pass along it.
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