Sugar Subunits


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•  Monosaccharide monomers are linked together by condensation reactions to form disaccharides and

   polysaccharide polymers

Carbohydrates are made of C, H and O (‘carbo’ – contains carbon ; ‘hydrate’ – contains H and O)

Carbohydrates are composed of recurring monomers called monosaccharides (which typically form ring structures)

These monosaccharides may be linked together via condensation reactions (water is formed as a by-product)

  • Two monosaccharide monomers may be joined via a glycosidic linkage to form a disaccharide
  • Many monosaccharide monomers may be joined via glycosidic linkages to form polysaccharides

Formation of a Disaccharide


Examples of Carbohydrates

Monosaccharides (one sugar unit) are typically sweet-tasting and function as an immediate energy source for cells

  • Examples of monosaccharides include glucose, galactose and fructose

Disaccharides (two sugar units) are small enough to be soluble in water and commonly function as a transport form

  • Examples of disaccharides include lactose, maltose and sucrose

Polysaccharides (many sugar units) may be used for energy storage or cell structure, and also play a role in cell recognition

  • Examples of polysaccharides include cellulose, glycogen and starch

Types of Carbohydrates

types of sugars