Poly Saccharides Assignment Help | Poly Saccharides Homework Help


Polysaccharides generally called glycans, are compounds formed by the condensation of a number of monosaccharide units linked through glycosidic bonds. They serve as structural components of the cell as well as function as nutrients. They can be hydrolyzed by acids or enzymes to yield monosaccharides or their derivative. Most common polysaccharides are starch, inulin, amylopectin, glycogen, and mannans. In chemical terms polysaccharides may be divided into two broad group :
1.Homopolysaccharides or homoglycans which yield only one type of monomer units upon hydrolysis, viz. cellulose, glycogen and starch.
2. Heteropolysaccharides or heteroglycans that yield two or more types of monomer units viz. hyaluronic acid, chondriotin  sulphate, heparin and mureins.


It is the most common and abundantly occurring polymer of D-glucose units found in the cell wall of plants, usually associated with lignin. The bonds holding glucose units are β-1, 4, glycosidic linkages. Strong HCI hydrolyzes cellulose into its constituent glucose monomers, but mild hydrolysis yields disaccharide fragments of cellobiose.

Repeating cellobiose unit of cellulose


Starch is an important storage form of polysaccharides found in plants which exists in two forms, amylose and amylopectin. Amylose consists of 250-300 glucose residuces linkded by α-1,4, glycosidic  bonds. Amylose chains are coiled but unbranched.


Amylopectin is a highly branched polymer of glucose units with -1,4,glycosidic bonds. Linked to the main chain are side chains having about 12 glucose residues. The branching points have -1,6 glycosidic linkages.


Glycogen is a storage polysaccharide found in many animal tissues such as liver and muscle. It is a branched polymer having about 8 to 10 glucose units in each branch. Straight chains of glycogen are held by α-1,4 glycosidic linkages and the branches are linked to the main chain by α-1,6 glycosidic bonds. thus in chemical structure it is similar to that of amylopectin except that is more highly branched.


lnulin, a plant polysaccharide, is a polyfructosan consisting of fructose-furanosides with 2-1 linkages.


Mannans are linear polysaccharides found in cell walls of bacteria, yeasts and some higher plants. They are composed of mannose units and the bonds involved are α-1,2 and α-1,3 glycosidic bonds. In some cases branched mannans are also found.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is an unbranched polymer consisting of repeating disaccharides units of glucuronic acid and N-acetyglucosamine. This compound forms the ground substance of connective tissues of many animals, such as synovial fluid, vitreous humor of the eye and the skin.


Muropeptides are found in the bacterial cell walls and are composed of repeating units of N-acetylglucosamine and N-acetylmuramic acid with β-1,4 glycosidic linkages , Muropetides are also known as peptidoglycans.

Teichoic Acid

Teichoic acids are present in abundant amounts in the cell walls of the gram-positive bacteria and account for 20 to 50% of the dry weight of the cell wall. The polymer contains alternating units of D-alanine and N-acetylglucosamine units linked to glycerol backbone . There is yet another type of techoic acid in which case the backbone is composed of ribitol. This type is common in the cell wall of staphylococcus aureus.

For more help in Polysaccharides click the button below to submit your homework assignment