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Carbohydrates: Polysaccharides And Importance Of Carbohydrates

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Carbohydrates: Polysaccharides And Importance Of Carbohydrates - Lesson Summary

Polysaccharides contain many monosaccharide units joined covalently by glycosidic linkages.  Polysaccharides are the most common naturally occurring carbohydrates.
 
Starch:
 
It is the main storage polysaccharide for plants.
 

 
It is a polymer of alpha-glucose.  It consists of two components:  amylase, and amylopectin.
The main chain of amylopectin contains alpha 1, 4 linkages between the glucose units While branching occurs by alpha 1, 6 linkages, that is, C1-C 6 glycosidic linkages.

Cellulose:
 
Cellulose is another important polysaccharide.  Found in plants


 
Cellulose is a straight chain polysaccharide, made from beta-D-glucose units.  The glycosidic linkages are beta 1, 4 linkages (Polysaccharides are not reducing sugars.
 
Importance of Carbohydrates: 
  • Carbohydrates are a very important class of biomolecules. 
  • They form a major component of our diets.
  • Carbohydrates have many uses as structural material.  We build many useful items from wood, which is 40 to 50%cellulose.
  • Carbohydrates provide the basis for a variety of industries, including textiles, paper, lacquers and breweries.
  • Carbohydrates have a number of important biological roles.  The sugars are components of nucleic acids.  Glycoproteins and glycolipids—that is, proteins and lipids with attached carbohydrate groups carry out a variety of important biochemical functions.

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