The Role of H-Bonding in Living Organisms

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  • Topic: DNA, Protein, Hydrogen bond
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  • Published : May 5, 2012
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Discuss the Role of Hydrogen Bonding in living Organisms

A hydrogen bond is an intermolecular bond and is formed when a charged part of a molecule having polar covalent bonds, forms an electrostatic attraction with a molecule of opposite charge, generally with fluorine, oxygen and nitrogen. Molecules having non polar covalent bonds do not form hydrogen bonds. Hydrogen bonds are classified as weak bonds as they are easily and rapidly formed and broken, however the cumulative effects of large numbers of these bonds can be enormous.

Properties Of Water Related To Hydrogen Bonding:

Hydrogen bonding allows water to remain liquid at room temperature which is unexpected as molecules of similar size are gases at room temperature. This allows organisms to live in water and it also provides a liquid environment inside cells. Water has also a high specific heat capacity due to hydrogen bonding and it ensures a stable environmental temperature as water does not quickly heat up or cool down. Water has a high boiling point as a large amount of heat is required to overcome the hydrogen bonding. The high density of water allows many organisms to readily float on water. The buoyancy in water helps the swimming of motile gametes and in the dispersal of fruits and seeds. Hydrogen bonds hold water molecules together, therefore giving water the properties of cohesion and adhesion – leaves pull water upwards from the roots through the xylem.

Hydrogen bond

Hydrogen Bonding In Cellulose:

Cellulose is a polysaccharide and consists of linear chains of beta-glucose residues with the OH (hydroxyl) group pointing upwards and some pointing downwards. Individual cellulose chains are bound to each other by hydrogen bonds in order to form microfibrils which associate further more to form macrofibrils. These have high tensile strength and are able to withstand stretching forces as in a fully turgid plant cell.

The Presence Of Hydrogen Bonding In...
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