Table 3: Biopolymers found in nature and their functions [67].


Nuclei acids (DNA and RNA)NucleotidesCarriers of genetic information, universally recognized in all organisms
Proteinsα-aminoacidsBiological catalysis (enzymes), growth factors, receptors, structural materials (wool, leather, silk, hair, and connective tissue); hormones (insulin); toxins; antibodies
Polysaccharides (Carbohydrates)SugarsStructural materials in plants and some higher organisms (cellulose and chitin); energy storage materials (starch and glycogen); molecular recognition (blood types); bacterial secretions
PolyhydroxylalkanatesFatty acidsMicrobial energy reserve materials
PolyphenolsPhenolsStructural materials in plants (lignin); soil structure (peat and humics); plant defense mechanisms (tannins)
PolyphosphatesPhosphatesInorganic energy storage materials
PolysulfatesSulfatesInorganic energy storage materials