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October 2007 Biology Notes 1.1 – 1.

Organic Compounds
• Refers to molecules that contain both carbon and hydrogen (O2,
H2O, and CO2 are all inorganic)
• All organic compounds in living cells have a carbon backbone; carbon
can form up to four bonds with different atoms.
• Hydrocarbon molecules contain only carbon and hydrogen and come in
a variety of sizes and shapes, chains and rings.

• Large organic molecules
• There are four classes of macromolecules found in living organisms:
carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, nucleic acid.

Structure and Function of Macromolecules

Organic molecules that weigh more than 100 000 g/mol are referred to as
These macromolecules are constructed of smaller units called polymers –
long chain of repeating units. These polymers are subdivided into their basic
units called monomer.

Making and breaking of polymers:

Dehydration synthesis: is an anabolic – building up – process by which two
molecules are chemically bonded through the use of enzymes and a loss of
Example: glucose + glucose = maltose + water
Hydrolysis: is a catabolic process by which the bonds between monomers
are broken by the enzyme and the addition of water.
Example: sucrose + water = glucose + fructose

The Four Major Organic Compounds found in Living Things

A. Carbohydrates: include sugars and their polymers.
1. Monosaccharides: The basic formula (CH2O) – end in -ose
Examples: glucose, fructose, and galactose are hexose (6
carbon) sugars. Deoxyribose and ribose are (5 carbon) pentose

 Glucose

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2. Disaccharides: These are double sugars with the formula

C12H22O11. Notice that one molecules of water is missing from the
formula. The covalent bond holding the two monomers together is
called a glycoside linkage.
Examples: sucrose = glucose + fructose; maltose = glucose +
glucose; and lactose = glucose + galactose

3. Polysaccharides: The basic formula is (C6H10O5)n.

A. Storage Polysaccharides: starch is a plant storage
polysaccharide that is composed entirely of glucose. Amylose is
thesimplest form of starch. Amylopectin is more complex and
is branched. Glycogen is an animal starch stored in the liver
and muscles of vertebrates.

B. Lipids: A group of polymers that have one characteristic in

common, they do not mix with water. They are hydrophobic.
Some important groups are fats, phospholipids, and steroids.
Fats: are large molecules composed of 2 types of
monomers, glycerol (an alcohol containing 3 carbons) and
3 fatty acids molecules. The two types of fatty acids are
saturated and unsaturated.

The saturated fatty acids do not contain any double

bonds between the carbons. Unsaturated fatty acids
contain one or more double bonds between their carbons.
These double bonds cut down on the number of hydrogen
atoms that can be attached to the carbon in the molecule.
This causes the molecule to bend or kink at each of the
double bond sites.

Function of fats:
• Acts as insulation in higher vertebrates
• Serves as an energy storage source 1g=9Kcal of
• And acts as a shock absorber for internal organs

Phospholipids: structurally related to fats but contain 2

fatty acids and one molecule of phosphate. These
molecules are found making up the plasma membrane of
cells. They exhibit a polar and non polar quality. The

October 2007 Biology Notes 1.1 – 1.2

phosphate group is hydrophilic while the fatty acid area is


Steroids – hormones: Lipids characterized by a carbon

skeleton of 4 fused rings. Cholestral is an important
steroid found in all animal tissue. Plants do not contain
cholesterol. Cholesterol functions in many ways; it is a
precursor from which many of the bodies steroids are
constructed from. It also adds strength to the plasma
membrane in animal cells.

C. Proteins – polypeptide: macromolecules that make up 50%

of the dry weight of most cells. Their monomers are called
amino acids. Most amino acids consist of a carbon bonded to an
amino group, hydrogen, an R group, and a carboxyl group which
makes it an acid. There are 20 different amino acids. The bond
formed between amino acids is called a peptide bond.

Types of proteins:
1) Structural: functions in support; examples: elastin,
collagen, and keratin
2) Storage: food sources, examples: ovalbumin and casein
3) Transport: moves other substances, examples:
haemoglobin and cell membrane proteins
4) Hormonal: coordinates bodily activities, example insulin
5) Contractile: movement, examples: actin and myosin
6) Antibodies: defense, examples: Ig.E, IgA, and Ig.G
7) Enzymes: aid in chemical reactions, examples: amylase
and proteases

October 2007 Biology Notes 1.1 – 1.2

* Haemoglobin – 4 polypeptides
Folding back of polypeptide on itself  increase stability
D. Nucleic Acids: DNA and RNA
Nucleotides are the monomers that come together to form a nucleic
acid. They contain either a ribose or deoxyribose, sugar, phosphate,
and a nitrogenous base (guanine, adenine, cytosine, thymine, or
uracil). Base pairing rule. A – T, A – U, C-G
DNA RNA both

DNA has a double helix shape, while RNA is single stranded.

October 2007 Biology Notes 1.1 – 1.2

Cell Parts and Functions

Cell part Function Location & Structure

- Selectively permeable, meaning it
It surrounds the cell and
regulates the flow of materials such as
Cell holds it together. It is
nutrients and water in and out of the
(plasma) the outermost part of a
membrane cell.
- It connects the cell to the outside
Single membrane.
- It protects the plant cell, as well as
Found only in a plant
improving its durability.
cell, and is the
Cell wall - It also helps maintain the shape of the
outermost part of a
cell itself, when there is too much or too
plant cell.
little water.
- Control center of a cell.
- Co-ordinates, controls, and manages a
cell’s functions. Surrounded by a double
Nucleus - A storage center of all information in a layered membrane,
cell. central area of cell.
- Contains chromosomes and DNA
blueprints for making proteins.
Nuclear - Holds the cell’s DNAS. Surrounds the Nucleus
membrane - Selectively permeable. and is double layered.
- It is strand of DNA found within the
Chromatin nucleus.
- One of the two duplicated
Found inside the
chromosomes during mitosis and
nucleus of a cell.
Chromosom meiosis is called a Chromatid.
es - Condensed chromatin are called
The darker inner portion
Nucleolus - Manufactures ribosomes.
of the nucleus.
- Mostly water, gel-like material Surrounding the cell
Cytoplasm - Creates the chemical environment in inside the cell
which the other cell structures work. membrane.
Surrounds the
chromosomes and
- Highly viscous liquid.
Nucleoplas nucleoli.
- Nucleotides and enzymes are
m Enveloped by the
dissolved in the nucleoplasm.
nuclear membrane or
nuclear envelope.

October 2007 Biology Notes 1.1 – 1.2

- A series of canals which carry

materials through the cytoplasm.
- They transport various nutrients,
c reticulum
waste, and other materials to various
A series of canals which
parts of the cell.
look smooth without
- Processes and modify proteins with
ribosomes and rough
Rough ER the help of enzymes embedded on the
with ribosomes.
inner surface of the rough ER.
- Processes macromolecules such as
Smooth ER lipids and synthesizes phospholipids.
- Specialize functions in different cells
- They package nutrients and food for
further use elsewhere in a cell (cell
Golgi membrane and within the cell as
A stack of flattened
apparatus lysosomes).
membrane-bound sacs.
or complex - Receives vesicles from the ER, contain
enzymes for modifying proteins and
Large balloon like
- They store many things in a cell, such
Vacuoles containers, very large in
as nutrients, water and waste.
plant cells.
- Membrane-bound vesicle.
Small sacs found in a
- Digest food, and process waste
cell, circular and small.
Lysosomes (through endocytosis).
- Like small suicide sacs which destroy
old and worn out parts of a cell.
- It transforms the energy stored in Double layered
Mitochondr different macromolecules into a form membrane
ia that can be used throughout the cell (mitochondrion).
(called ATP)
- a plastid (organelle used to synthesize
or store food) contains chloroplast.
- transfers the energy in sunlight into
stored energy in carbohydrates (during
Plastids – photosynthesis)
chloroplast - Contain chlorophyll which contains
Contains stacked
s, green pigment and some carotenoids
internal membrane
chromoplas which hold yellow or orange pigment.
ts, - Chlorophyll traps radiant sun energy
leucoplasts then manufactures complex organic
molecules from simple raw organic
- Where starch, oil and protein are
- Rod-like tubes
Forms the main
- Acts like tracks along which
structural component of
Microtubule organelles, such as vesicles and
spindle fibres and
s mitochondria can move and stabilize
centrioles, cilia, and
the shape of cells with irregular

October 2007 Biology Notes 1.1 – 1.2

- Form a dense web under cell

Actin filaments.
membrane allowing for the movement
Microfilame Long, think flexible
of the membrane
nts cables.
- Protein that can contract and that
forms a key component of muscle cells.
Allow movement for
- Network of three interconnected fibres
Cytoskeleto actin filaments,
that maintain cell shape and allow for
n intermediate filaments,
movement of cell parts.
and microtubes.
Short cylindrical
- Move cell through its environment. projections.
- Cilia propels food toward a special Wave-like motion /
and cilia
feeding groove. Undulating, whip-like
Mostly only in animal
- They are where spindle fibers attach
Centrioles cells, barrel shaped and
during mitosis and meiosis.
small. .
Small membrane-
Vesicles - Transport sac.
Can sit freely within the
- Are required for the manufacturing of cytoplasm or be
Ribosomes protein which is energy for the cell. attached to the
- They are the site of protein synthesis. Endoplasmic Reticulum.
Tiny, two-part structure.

Functions of fluid mosaic model:

1) Controls movement in and out of cell
2) Protects cell contents from eternal environment.
3) Allows compartmentalization of cell parts
4) Communicates between outside and inside of cell.

October 2007 Biology Notes 1.1 – 1.2

Integral proteins:
Provides stability for the cell membrane
Often have receptors attached  oligosaccharides, glycoprotein,
glycolipid - act as signal receptors for enzymes, hormones other
chemicals, so that all can turn internal functions on and off.

Transport protein: Membrane channel. Helps substance move from

one side of cell to other

Cholesterol: embedded in cell membrane to provide stability to cell.

Cellulose: polysaccharide composed of glucose subunits that form the main

compounds of the cell wall.

Amylose: simplest form of starch. Amylopectin is more complex and


DNA: double helix, contains information on making RNA

RNA: single long chain, contains info for making proteins.

Cholesterol is a steroid which adds strength to the plasma membrane in

many ways, many of the bodies steroids are constructed from cholesterol.

Saturated Fat Unsaturated Fat

1. Solid at room temperature. 1. Liquid at room temperature.
2. Found mostly in animals. 2. Found mostly in plants.

October 2007 Biology Notes 1.1 – 1.2

3. No double bonds between carbons. 3. Double bonds found between carbons.

Why do bananas turn sweeter as they age?

The carbohydrates in green bananas are primarily starches that turn to sugar
as the fruits ripen.

Investigation 1A: Testing Macromolecules:

Iodine solution for starch: yellow  black
Benedict’s solution + heat for glucose: blue  orange
Sudan IV solution for lipids: red  black
Biuret reagent for protein: blue  purple

Pre-lab Questions:
• Amino acid contains a nitrogen atom, which is not present in a sugar

• Two health hazards related to using a copper sulphate solution includes

the inhalation of dust which may cause irritation to the upper
respiration tract, the swallowing of toxic orally and it is also corrosive
to eyes upon contact.

Eukaryote: organisms with cells containing nuclei. Contain organelles

compared to prokaryote. (ex. Plant cells)

Prokaryote: Organisms with cells lacking a true nucleus and most types of
(ex. Bacteria)

Isomerism: Molecules of monosaccharides may have the same molecular

formula but differ in three-dimensional structures.