Polymers Structure

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Polymers have different structures. They also have different functions. Describe how the structures of different polymers are related to their functions. Polymers come in many different types within biology. Proteins are a polymer, and are used in many areas of organisms. Amino acid monomers are joined by peptide bonds to create a polypeptide that we commonly call a protein. There are around 20 amino acids used when synthesising proteins within an organism. These proteins can be found in different structures, primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary. The structure of these proteins is decided by the side R-group found on the combination of amino acids. Primary structure consists of a polypeptide chain of amino acids. To make a…show more content…
In plants, microfibers form through parallel aligned chains of Cellulose bound by hydrogen bridges formed by the hydroxyl groups of glucose. These microfibers form superimposed layers of cellulose, with other fibers running at 90 degrees in multiple layers. With this layout, the cell wall of plants is very rigid, allowing the plant to gain form and structure, whilst still having some elasticity for varying levels of plant tugor pressure. The fibers are further cross-linked by hemicellulose. The cell wall protects the cell's plasma membrane. Outside the cell wall there is just a thin layer of pectin, wax and cutin to provide some padding, called the middle lamella. In some plants a secondary cell wall forms in the plants adult stages as an extra protection - this wall again is mostly made up of cellulose. Starch can be found in two forms. One is amylose an unbranched polysaccharide with 1-4 glycosidic bonds. The second is amylopectin, a branched polysaccharide with 1-4 and 1-6 glycosidic bonds, as is glycogen. All of these are made of Alpha glucose monomers. In starch the chain of Alpha glucose is in a coil making it compact and efficient for storage in small space, allowing more to be stored per unit volume. Glycogen has more branches which are shorter than in starch. This exposes more branch endings allowing a faster rate of hydrolysis to back to Alpha glucose molecules. This helps its function of supplying glucose rapidly to
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