Functions of polysaccharides, Biology


  • Chitin is a structural component of fungal cell wall and exoskeleton of insects, crustaceans and some other arthropods.
  • Peptidoglycan or Murien is structural component of bacterial cell wall.
  • Mucilage or Slime Sheath is a mucopolysaccharide based viscous solution that is formed outside the body of many aquatic organisms to protect them from rotting effect of water, epiphytes and toxic chemicals. Mucilage may form a capsule around certain bacteria.
  • In plants pectic compounds and in animals hyaluronic acid are used as cell cement.
  • Mucus is a formed from mucoproteins and is meant for protecting lining layers of various tracts in the body from corroding chemicals and harmful microbes e.g., respiratory tract, stomach, intestine, cervix, etc.
  • Glycocalyx is a sugar coating over the cell membrane in animal cells which has several functions like

                     (a) Protection                   (b) Providing shape        (c) Attacting cations

                     (d) Sites for recognition    (e) Sites for receptors    (f) Blood group antigens  (g) Antibodies

  • Heparin is anticoagulant of blood and connective tissue.
  • Hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulphate provide lubrication to different body parts like tendons, ligaments, skin, connective tissue, joints (as synovial fluid), central nervous system (as cerebrospinal fluid), tissues (interstitial fluid), eyes (vitreous humour), etc.
  • Pectin is used as jellying agent.
  • Agar (from red algae Gelidium, Gracilaria) is used as culture medium, emulsifying and stabilizing agent in dairy products, confectioners and cosmetics.

Monosaccharide test = Benedict's test & Fehling's test

Polysaccharide test = Iodine test

Note :- Galactosemia disease in children can be removed by giving milk less diet.

Posted Date: 10/9/2012 4:11:39 AM | Location : United States

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