Asked Jun 4, 2019

Identify specific functional groups commonly found in biological molecules and describe their properties.


Expert Answer

Step 1

The carbon skeleton of biomolecules is composed of hydrogens and carbon atoms. But, in the biomolecules, other atoms like oxygen and Sulphur are also found. These atoms are incorporated in these molecules in the form of functional groups. Functional groups are the chemical groups, that display specific functions, and properties, even if they are incorporated in any molecule. Biological molecules contain many types of functional groups, and these functional groups, affect the chemical and physical properties of these compounds.  

Step 2

The functional groups found in biomolecules are divided into two main categories, hydrophobic and hydrophilic groups.

Hydrophobic functional groups:

Methyl group- -CH3 is the methyl group, which is very common in biomolecules. This group is nonpolar in nature. This functional group has the property to make hydrophobic interactions with the other biomolecules.

Hydrophilic functional groups:

Alcohols- -OH is the alcoholic functional group. This group adds polarity to the biomolecules because there is a high electronegative difference between the hydrogen and oxygen atom. The biomolecules containing this structure is highly soluble in water and forms hydrogen bonds with other molecules. Examples of this group found in biomolecules are carbohydrates, proteins, and nucleotides.

Carbonyls- The carbonyls are aldehyde group and a ketone group. It increases the polarity and reactivity of the biomolecule. Biomolecules containing carbonyl groups are volatile in nature, this results in activating the odor sense of the humans. Examples of this group found in biomolecules are fructose and glucose.

Carboxyl- ...

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