• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Give an account of the biological significance of polysaccharides

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Question 8 January 1999 Give an account of the biological significance of polysaccharides (10marks) Polysaccharides are polymers formed from large amounts of monosaccharide monomers, covalently bonded together by condensation polymerisation. There are three polysaccharides that commonly effect living organisms: they are Starch, Glycogen and Cellulose. These polysaccharides play a very significant role in the way plants and animals function. Starches are polymers of glucose. There are two common types : (1) amylose, which consists of linear, unbranched chains of several hundred glucose units - the glucose units are linked between their 1 and 4 carbon atoms; (2) ...read more.

Middle

Animals store excess glucose by polymerising it to form glycogen. The structure of glycogen is similar to that of amylopectin, although the branches in glycogen tend to be shorter and occur more frequently. Glycogen is biologically significant as we eat relatively small amounts of it and it is used as our main carbohydrate storage compound - we store small amounts in our liver and muscles. Glycogen is broken back down into glucose when energy is needed in a process called glycogenolysis. Research has shown that intense exercise and a high-carbohydrate diet can increase the reserves of glycogen in the muscles and thus may help people exercising work their muscles somewhat longer and harder than normal. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, cellulose differs greatly from starch in its properties. There are other polysaccharides which effect related compounds and organisms- they are: Callose which is another polymer of glucose found in plants; Inulin which is found in some plants and acts as a storage carbohydrate; Pectins which are found in plant cellulose cell walls; Chitin is similar to the structure of cellulose and is found in fungal hyphae and forms the exoskeleton in arthropods; Murein which is found in the cell walls of bacteria and Mucopolysaccharides found in bone and cartilage. Hence, Polysaccharides are extremely important in plants and animals because they help the organisms to function properly and survive. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Exchange, Transport & Reproduction section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Exchange, Transport & Reproduction essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Describe the molecular structure of starch (amylase), glycogen and cellulose, and relate these structures ...

    4 star(s)

    It is made by animals as their storage polysaccharide, and is found mainly in muscle and liver. Because it is so highly branched, it can be mobilized (broken down to glucose for energy) very quickly. Glycogen molecules clump together to form granules, which are visible in liver and muscle cells where they form an energy reserve.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Osmosis. Aim: To find the molarity of potato tubers cell sap. BIOLOGICAL ...

    4 star(s)

    The increase in length shows that water that entered made the cells turgid. Determination of molarity I decided to find the isotonic point by plotting the percentage change in length against the percentage change in mass in a line graph.

  1. Peer reviewed

    "An investigation into the Respiration of Carbohydrate Substrates by Yeast."

    5 star(s)

    9.384615 Variance 568.1997 30.66397 Observations 39 39 Pooled Variance 299.4318 Hypothesized Mean Difference 0 df 76 t Stat 20.20603 P(T<=t) one-tail 1.36E-32 t Critical one-tail 1.665151 P(T<=t) two-tail 2.71E-32 t Critical two-tail 1.991675 Sucrose v Starch Brewer's. Plotting the degrees of freedom against the t stat on the graph of

  2. Peer reviewed

    The comparison of antibacterial properties of herbal products and standard antibiotics

    5 star(s)

    12.0 10.0 9.0 10.3 83.3 6 12.0 11.0 12.0 11.6 106.7 23.0 19.0 20.0 20.6 333.3 15.0 16.0 13.0 14.6 167.4 9.0 11.0 16.0 12.0 113.1 Average area of inhibition (mm2) 93.5 390.1 159.8 114.9 Final results: As stated in the pilot the closest degree of accuracy is mm which is what the final results have been measured in.

  1. Fundamental human anatomy and physiology.

    The female reproductive system includes the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, uterus, vagina, accessory glands, and external genital organs. Select a topic below to learn more about the female reproductive system Male The male reproductive system, like that of the female, consists of those organs whose function is to produce a new individual, i.e., to accomplish reproduction.

  2. the role of the microbiology department

    When many examinations have to be made, even skilled and conscientious workers may from time to time make mistakes. Staff should be encouraged to recognise and report any likelihood of their having made a mistake, and should not be made afraid to confess the possibility.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work