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Root Words For Poly

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What are the Poly Words?

IVSAT 2024

The root word for poly words is poly. The word poly originated from the word “polus”, which indicates many or much. In biology, there are various words that start with the poly prefix.

Examples of Root Words Starting With Poly in Biology

  • Polypeptide

  • Polysome

  • Polynucleotide

  • Polyploidy

  • Polyphagia

  • Polycythemia

  • Polyandrous

  • Polyanthus

  • Polydactyly

  • Polymorph

  • Polygamy

  • Polysaccharides

  • Polyunsaturated fatty acid

  • Polynucleotide

  • Polycentric

  • Polytene chromosome

Let’s discuss these Examples of Root Words Starting with Poly one by one.

Polysaccharides- Polysaccharides composed of a large number of monosaccharide units. The suffix of polysaccharides is added in their names and they are known as glycans. Pentose polysaccharides are called pentosans for example Araban, xylan, all these found in the cell wall. Hexose polysaccharides are called heavens. Polysaccharides are insoluble in water and do not taste sweet. All polysaccharides are non-reducing. According to function, they are classified as nutritive and structural polysaccharides.

On a structural basis, polysaccharides are of two types.

Homopolysaccharides and heteropolysaccharides.

Homopolysaccharides- It is composed of the same monomers. Biologically important homopolysaccharides are as follows:

1. Cellulose- It is a polymer of beta-D-glucose units (6000 to 10,000). It has a beta- 1’-4” linkage. Partial digestion yields cellobiose units (disaccharides). cellulose is the main component of the plant cell wall. In wood, cellulose is 50 % and in cotton, it is 90%. 

2. Starch- It is mainly stored food in plants. Starch is the polymer of alpha-D glucose units. Starch consists of two types of chain; amylose and amylopectin.

3. Glycogen- The storage form of carbohydrate in animals, the storage region of glycogen in the liver and muscles. Storage of glycogen liver is more than the muscle. Glycogen is also called animal starch. Glycogen is also called animal starch. It is a highly branched polymer of alpha-D glucose.

4. Chitin- linear polymer of N-acetyl-D-glucosamine with beta-1-4 linkage. It is an important component of the exoskeleton of arthropods and the cell wall of fungi.

Inulin- It is the linear polymer of fructose units linked with beta-1’-2” bonds. Inulin is found in the roots of Dahlia and Artichoke. It is a water-soluble polysaccharide and it is used to know the glomerular filtration rate. It is the smallest storage polysaccharide.

5. Dextrin- It is an intermediate substance in the digestion of glycogen and starch. By hydrolysis of dextrin, glucose and maltose are formed. It also occurs as stored food in yeast and bacteria.

Heteropolysaccharides-  It is composed of different monosaccharide units. 

1. Hyaluronic Acid- Found in the vitreous humour, umbilical cord, joints, and connective tissue in the form of a lubricating agent. It also occurs in animal cell coats as binding material (Animal cement). Hyaluronic acid is made up of D-glucuronic acid and N-acetyl-D-glucosamine arranged in alternate orders. These different monosaccharides have beta-1’,3” bonds and such disaccharides have beta-1’3” bonds.

2. Chondroitin- It is composed of D-glucuronic acid and N-acetyl galactosamine. Chondroitin occurs in connective tissue. The sulphate ester of chondroitin is a main structural component of cartilages, tendons, and bones.

3. Heparin- It is an anticoagulant of blood. Heparin is made up of D-glucuronic acid and N-sulphate glucosamine arranged in alternate order.

4. Pectins- It is composed of Methylated galacturonic acid, arabinose, and galactose. It is found in the cell wall where it binds cellulose fibrils in bundles. Salts of pectin like calcium and magnesium pectates form middle lamella in plants.

5. Hemicellulose- It is composed of mannose, galactose, arabinose, and xylose. Store material is phyto lophus. Hemicellulose which is obtained from this plant is white, hard, and shiny and it is used to form a billiard ball and artificial ivory. 

Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid- polyunsaturated fatty acid is an example of Biology Root Words for Poly. Fatty acids with more than one double bond in their structure example: linoleic acid, linolenic acid, arachidonic acid, prostaglandins. Unsaturated fatty acids are also called essential fatty acids because no animal is able to synthesize them. Simple lipids with saturated fatty acid remain solid at normal room temperature. Example: fats. Simple lipids with unsaturated fatty acids remain liquid at room temperature. Example: oils. Saturated fatty acids are less reactive so they tend to store in the body and cause obesity. Unsaturated fatty acids are more reactive so they tend to store in the body and cause obesity. Unsaturated fatty acids are more reactive so they tend to metabolize in the body and provide energy. Oils with polyunsaturated are recommended by physicians for persons who suffer from high blood cholesterol or cardiovascular diseases. This is because increasing the proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids to saturated fatty acids, without raising the fats in the diet tends to lower the cholesterol level in blood.

Polynucleotide- Polynucleotide is a chain of nucleotides. There are two kinds of polynucleotides present inside the body. 

  • DNA

  • RNA

DNA- In DNA pentose sugar is deoxyribose sugar and four types of nitrogen bases adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine. DNA is composed of two polynucleotide chains. Both polynucleotide chains are complementary and antiparallel to each other. In both strands of DNA direction of the phosphodiester bond is opposite. If the direction of the phosphodiester bond in one strand is 3’-5’ then it is 5’-3’ in another strand. Both strands of DNA are held together by hydrogen bonds. These hydrogen bonds are present between the nitrogen bases of both strands. Adenine binds to thymine by two hydrogen bonds and cytosine binds to guanine by three hydrogen bonds. In the double-stranded DNA the amount of purine nucleotide is equal to the amount of pyrimidine nucleotide. Purine = pyrimidine, this rule is known as Chargaff’s rule. In a DNA when adenine and thymine are more than cytosine and guanine is G-C type DNA. The base ratio of the G-C type of DNA is less than one. Example: prokaryotic DNA. The melting point of DNA depends upon the G-C contents. More G-C content means more melting point. Two strands of DNA are helically coiled like a revolving ladder is composed of phosphates and sugars while steps are composed of pairs of nitrogen bases. In the nucleus of eukaryotes, the DNA is associated with histone protein to form nucleoprotein. DNA in chromosomes is linear while in prokaryotes, mitochondria, and chloroplast it is circular.

Types of DNA

Right Handed DNA

Left Handed DNA

Palindromic DNA

RNA- the structure of RNA is fundamentally the same as DNA, but there are some differences. In RNA at the place of Deoxyribose sugar in DNA, there is present ribose sugar in RNA. Uracil is present in RNA at the place of thymine. RNA is made up of only one polypeptide chain. Therefore, RNA is single-stranded. 2-OH groups present at every nucleotide in RNA as a reactive group and makes RNA labile and easily degradable and RNA also has catalytic activity so it is more reactive so DNA is chemically less reactive and structurally more stable as compared to RNA. DNA is more stable so preferred for the storage of genetic information but for the transmission of genetic information RNA is better.

Types of RNA

  • Ribosomal RNA

  • Transfer RNA

  • Messenger RNA

Polypeptide- Polypeptide is formed by the translation process. Translation involves three steps:




Initiation- In this step 30 ‘s’ and 50 ‘s’ subunit of the ribosome, GTP, Mg+2, charged t-RNA, m-RNA and some initiation factors are required. In prokaryotes, there are three initiation factors required. In eukaryotes more than 3 initiation factors are present. 

Elongation- New tRNA with new amino acid is attached at the ‘A’ site of the ribosome. The link between the amino acid of ‘p’ site of t-RNA is broken and the t-RNA of the P-site is discharged so the carboxylic group of the P-site amino acid becomes free. The peptide bond takes place between the carboxylic group of P-site amino acid and the amino group of A-site amino acid. After the formation of peptide bond t-RNA of P site released from the ribosome by E-site and dipeptide attaches with A-site.

Chain Termination- The ribosomes slide over mRNA when, any nonsense codon available at the A site of the ribosome, the polypeptide chain terminates. The linkage between the last t-RNA and the polypeptide chain is broken by three release factors called RF1, RF2, and RF3 with help of GTP. An mRNA also has some additional sequences that are not translated and are referred to as untranslated regions. The UTRs are present at both 5’end and at the 3’ end.

Polysome- At the time of protein synthesis, several ribosomes become attached to the m-RNA with the help of smaller subunits. This structure is called polyribosomes or polysome or ergonomic. Ribosomes move along the mRNA like beads on a string, during protein synthesis. The larger subunit contains peptidyl transferase enzymes which helps in the formation of the peptide during protein synthesis. This is an example of the ribozyme. The ribosome is consist of two subunits:

Larger Subunits- two sites are found on larger subunits.

A- Site- Acceptor site for t-RNA.

P-Site- Site for a growing polypeptide chain.

Polyploidy- it is the example of Biology Root Words for Poly. The addition of the set of chromosomes is called polyploidy. It is of two types:

1. Autopolyploidy: it is the repetition of the same set of chromosomes. Cynodon and rose are autotriploid plants. These are sterile plants. They can be reproduced by vegetative propagation.

2. Allopolypliody- More than one type of set is present in these plants. These plants are obtained by the intergeneric cross. Example: Raphanobrassica is obtained by a cross between radish and cabbage and first obtained by Russian scientist karpechenko, Triticum durum, Triticum aestivum.

Polygonum- polygonum is a plant with orthotropous or anatropous ovule. The body of the ovule is upright in position. The micropyle, chalaza, and hilum lie in one straight line.

Polyembryony- Many embryos formed inside the single seed are called polyembryony. First of all, it is observed by Leeuwenhoek in citrus seeds. Polyembryony is commonly found in gymnosperms but it is also found in some angiosperms plants such as orange, lemon, and nicotiana. If polyembryony develops naturally then it is called spontaneous polyembryony. When it is developed artificially is called induced polyembryony. When many embryos are formed from separate-separate embryo sacs inside the ovule is called false or pseudo polyembryony. When many embryos are formed inside the single embryo sac of the seed is called true polyembryony. 

Polydactyly-  The presence of more than five fingers is called polydactyly. This is a type of mutation. 

Polyphagia- Polyphagia is a condition in which excessive hunger takes place. This condition generally occurs in diabetic patients.

Polycentric Chromosome- When the number of centromeres is more than two and diffused throughout chromosome length is called a polycentric chromosome. 

Polytene Chromosome- this is also known as the salivary gland chromosome. The size of this chromosome is up to 2000micron. And the number of chromatids may be 512 to many thousands. Therefore, this type of chromosome is also known as a giant chromosome. It is named as polytene chromosome because the number of chromatids is very high. Swollen areas present at some places in the polytene chromosome, which are called balbiani rings or puffs. Polytene chromosome concerns metamorphosis and the moulting process of insect larva. 

The above-explained terms were the Examples of Root Words Starting with Poly in Biology.

Did You Know?

  • Cellulose is the most abundant organic molecule on earth. 

  • Chitin is also known as fungal cellulose and is the second most abundant organic molecule on earth.

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FAQs on Root Words For Poly

1. What Do You Mean By Polysaccharides?

Answer: Polysaccharides are the biomolecule that is composed of a large number of monosaccharide units. The polysaccharide ends with the suffix “an”. Therefore, “an” is added in their names, and they are known as glycans. Polysaccharides that contain five carbon are known as pentose polysaccharides and these are called pentosans.  For example, Araban, xylan, all these molecules found in the cell wall. Polysaccharides that contain six carbon are called hexose polysaccharides. These molecules are also named heaxans. The Polysaccharides molecule is generally insoluble in water and does not taste sweet. All polysaccharides are non-reducing sugar as they do not contain a free carbonyl group. These molecules can be classified according to the function they perform. They are classified as nutritive and structural polysaccharides.

2. What Do You Mean By Polytene Chromosome?

Answer: Polytene chromosome is the largest chromosome found in the salivary gland. Therefore, this chromosome is also known as the salivary gland chromosome. The size of the polytene chromosome is up to 2000 microns. The number of chromatids (uncondensed chromosomes) may be 512 to many thousands. Therefore, the salivary gland chromosome is also known as a giant chromosome. The reason behind naming this chromosome is that It contains a high number of chromatids. The salivary gland chromosome (polytene chromosome) contains a Swollen region at some places. These swollen regions are called balbiani rings or puffs. The Polytene chromosome plays a role in regulating the metamorphosis and moulting process of insect larva. 

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