The Role of Carbohydrates in Living Organisms

Do not show me this again

Are you in the right place?

Jump to Biology and see how teachers think you should prepare in:

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

    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. Marked by a teacher

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

    4 star(s)

    These include fructose and galactose. Common five-carbon sugars (where n = 5, C5H10O5) include ribose and deoxyribose (found in nucleic acids and ATP).The formula of a carbohydrate is always (CH2O)n. The n represents the number of times the basic CH2O unit is repeated, e.g.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Biology coursework planning - the effect of lead chloride on the growth of cress ...

    5 star(s)

    An average length of shoot of cress seeds was calculated for each medium by adding up all 40 lengths and dividing the result by 40 (which is the number of seeds planted) - see appendix A table to show the average length of shoot of cress seeds grown in different

  2. The Structure of Alveoli and their role in Gas Exchange including the role and ...

    the efficiency of the alveolar cell, as mucus can't be used inside alveoli as they can in the bronchi and trachea. This is because mucus would prevent the permeable squamous epithelial cell membrane from being used efficiently for the diffusion of gases.

  1. An Experiment Testing for Carbohydrates Non-Reducing sugars

    Grass also did contain some reducing sugars as when added to Benedict's reagent it formed a green precipitate.

  2. Effects of Various Carbohydrate Substrates on Yeast Fermentation.

    yeast's cell and glycolytic pathway within the allowed time period of an hour and a half. We observed that the sucrose tube had the highest level of evolved carbon dioxide over time.

  1. Investigation into reducing sugar content of a variety of soft drinks (not diet).

    Results: Transmission of glucose solutions: Transmission of various Soft drinks: Analysis: From the results gained it was possible to compare transmissions of the soft drinks to that of the glucose calibration curve. A curve of best fit was implemented to see the fullest range of results possible.

  2. Give an account of the structure and functions of polysaccharides in living organisms.

    Glycogen, like starch, is an energy storage molecule but it is found in animals. It occurs in the liver cells and muscle tissue where it is compact and can be readily hydrolysed to glucose for use as a respiratory substrate.

  • Over 180,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work

Marked by a teacher

This essay has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the essay.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the essay page.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review under the essay preview on this page.

Do not show me this again

Are you in the right place?

Jump to Biology and see how teachers think you should prepare in: