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

The Role of Carbohydrates in Living Organisms

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Role of Carbohydrates in Living Organisms Carbohydrates are composed of the elements carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. The general formula is Cx(H2O)y. There are many different types of carbohydrates present in living organisms, each playing an important role in maintaining life of organisms. Monosaccharides are a group of carbohydrates, which include simple sugars such as glucose, fructose and galactose. Monosaccharides are classified according to the number of carbon atoms they possess. Trioses such as glyceraldehyde, and dihydroxyacetone contain three carbon atoms. The phosphorylated form of glyceraldehyde is the first formed sugar in photosynthesis, and may (like dihydroxyacetone) be used as respiratory substrate, or is converted to starch for storage. ...read more.

Middle

Galactose, mannose and fructose are three principal respiratory substrates in organisms. Additionally, Galactose is central in the synthesis of lactose. Fructose is also involved in the synthesis of insulin, and it sweetens fruits to attract animals in order to assist in seed dispersal. When two monosaccharides are joined together they form a disaccharide for instance, sucrose is formed in the joining of glucose and fructose, lactose in the amalgamation of glucose and galactose, and maltose in the bonding of two glucose molecules. These three respiratory substrates are the primary disaccharides in living organisms. Sucrose is vital in plants as it is the form in which most carbohydrates are transported in the phloem. ...read more.

Conclusion

It consists of long chains of glucose residues. Hydroxyl groups project outwards from hydrogen bonds with hydroxyl groups of adjacent chains to give the whole structure a high tensile strength. Cellulose is fully permeable to water and solutes and therefore does not effect exchange. Structurally, chitin, another polysaccharide, is very similar to cellulose. It forms bundles of long parallel chains, which are essential part of the arthropod skeleton. Monosaccharides, disaccharides, and polysaccharides, are different groups of carbohydrates essential in sustaining life of all plants and animals. By carrying out extremely important functions such as carbohydrate storage, respiratory substrates and support in both plants and animals, roles such as synthesis of nucleic acids and ATP in mammals, and fundamental aids in photosynthesis in plants, carbohydrates are absolutely obligatory in preservation of most life on earth. Adrian Conner L6E 19 September 2001 Biology ...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

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

A very good account of the role of carbohydrates. It would benefit from diagrams of the structure of each variety of carbohydrate, but other than that very comprehensive. 4 stars.

Marked by teacher Louise Star 10/04/2013

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

    Affect Of Varying Salt Concentration on Red Blood Cell Haemolysis

    4 star(s)

    There are three types of solution these are isotonic, hypotonic and hypertonic. Isotonic - Water potential within red blood cells and plasma (Solutions) are equal. Therefore both water potentials are in equilibrium. This is shown on the graph at a concentration of 0.9% Hypertonic - Water potential outside cell is

  2. Marked by a teacher

    The Effect Of Temperature On The Permeability Of The Cell Membrane

    3 star(s)

    Remove the beetroot from the boiling-tube with a tweezer so that no more pigment diffuses into the water. Removing the beetroot with a tweezer will ensure that the solution does not get contaminated out of the test tube with our hands, also leaving the beetroot for long periods of time

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Importance of diffusion to living organisms

    3 star(s)

    These are sponge-like structures in which the diffusion takes place. They are highly adapted to diffuse the gases as they give a large surface area for exchange of the gases. Also, there is only a thin layer of cells between the alveoli and the blood capillaries meaning there is a short diffusion pathway so diffusion takes place more efficiently.

  2. Peer reviewed

    The Importance and Biological Functions of Carbohydrates.

    4 star(s)

    It is made up of amylose and amylopectin. Amylopectin is formed from ? 1,4 and ? 1,6 bonds of glucose and amylose of ? 1,4 glucose only. Molecules of amylose and amylopectin are compact so lots of starch fits into a small space.

  1. Osmosis in Living Tissue.

    any excess solution and weigh the pin with all of the chunks on * Note all results into a table Safety * Be careful with the glass test tubes * Be careful with the razor Results Solution (mol/dm�) Mass before (g)

  2. The structure and function of carbohydrates.

    The two monosaccharides in lactose (glucose and galactose) are combined into a disaccharide using a specific type of chemical linkage. This linkage (?-1,4-galactosidic linkage) joins the two monosaccharides to form one disaccharide. There are other types of chemical linkages (?-1,4- linkage)

  1. The Effect of Different Substrates on the Rate of Respiration on Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae).

    It is now well established that most yeasts employ sugars as their main carbon and hence energy source, but there are particular yeasts which can utilize non-conventional carbon sources. Many sugars are fermentable compounds. While sucrose and glucose are abundant in plants, lactose is found predominantly in milk; hence, the

  2. The Process of Osmosis and its Importance to Living Organisms.

    Marine osmotic regulators include most of the fish, reptiles, birds and mammals. These are the organisms that are most likely to migrate long distances where they may encounter changes in salinity. An excellent example of this is the salmon fish.

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