What Is Monosaccharide Monomer? 

You might have heard of monosaccharide monomer. But here we will understand them in detail. Before going further, let’s understand what monomers are first. Well, the monomer is a simple and basic unit that makes a polymer chain by a process called polymerization. In simple language, the monomer is a building block of a polymer chain or a basic unit of the polymer chain. There are different kinds of monomers and hence they form different kinds of polymers. In this article, we will understand one such monomer and this is a monosaccharide which is also called a simple sugar molecule. Without further delay let’s get started and learn about monosaccharide monomer.  

What Is Monosaccharide Monomer? 

The Monosaccharide monomer is the monomer of carbohydrates. In other languages, carbohydrates are composed of monosaccharide monomer units or they are polymers that are made from the polymerization of monomers called monosaccharides. The carbohydrate monomer is simple sugars like fructose and glucose. It is also one of the four basic macromolecules of life. 

Is lactose a monosaccharide or is ribose a monosaccharide or is glycogen a monosaccharide? Well, these three compounds are not monosaccharides but they are disaccharides.  

There are three types or examples of monosaccharides and they are glucose, fructose, and galactose. Glucose is an important monosaccharide in that it provides both energy and structure to many organisms. It can be broken down in glycolysis, providing energy and precursors for cellular respiration. Fructose, which is almost identical to glucose, is a slightly different molecule. The formula of fructose and glucose is the same, but the structure is much different. Galactose is a monosaccharide produced in many organisms, especially mammals, who use it in milk, to give energy to their offspring.   

Now, you got clear about, is monosaccharide a monomer or polymer

Properties Of Monosaccharide Monomer 

There are different properties of monosaccharide monomers including, 

  • Monosaccharides are easily soluble in water.
  • They can not be broken down into simple forms of sugars.
  • monosaccharides are reducing in nature.
  • They show the phenomenon of stereo-isomerism.
  • Monosaccharides are colorless and crystalline compounds.
  • D-glucose and L-glucose are mirror images of each other.

Monosaccharide Structure And Function 

To understand monosaccharides completely, it is essential to understand their structure and function. Let’s go, 

Click here – What Is Carb Monomer?

Monosaccharide Structure 

All monosaccharides are simple sugar. In the word “monosaccharides”, ‘mono’ means single or one or unit, and ‘Sacchharide’ means sugar. Collectively, monosaccharides mean simple sugar and its chemical formula is (CH2O)n. This ‘n’ is written to show that there are unlimited units of monosaccharides to form a polymer chain of carbohydrates. In the structure of monosaccharides, a central carbon molecule is bonded to two hydrogens and one oxygen. The oxygen will also bond to hydrogen, creating a hydroxyl group. Because carbon can form 4 bonds, several of these carbon molecules can bond together.   

Monosaccharide Function 

You understand the structure of monosaccharides but you may be thinking what is the purpose of this monosaccharide? Well, monosaccharides have many functions within cells. First, monosaccharides are used to produce and store energy. Other monosaccharides are used to form long fibers, which can be used as a form of cellular structure. Many organisms create energy by breaking down the monosaccharide glucose and harvesting the energy released from the bonds. 

Plnta create cellulose to serve this function, while some bacteria can produce a similar cell wall from slightly different polysaccharides.  

Facts About Monosaccharide 

Here are some facts about monosaccharides, 

  • Monosaccharides are the simplest carbohydrates since they can not be hydrolyzed into smaller carbohydrates.
  • When more than 20 monosaccharides are combined with glycosidic bonds, an oligosaccharide becomes a polysaccharide.
  • A monosaccharide is a type of monomer or molecule that can combine with molecules to create a polymer chain.
  • If carbonyl occurs at the end of the chain, the monosaccharide is in the aldose family.
  • If the carbonyl group is in the middle of the chain, the monosaccharides are in the ketose family.
  • When two monosaccharides are connected by a glycosidic bond they form a disaccharide compound.
  • Sugars and starch, all are made from monosaccharides or simple sugar.

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Is Monosaccharide Monomer Or Polymer?

Thus, a monosaccharide behaves as a monomer of carbohydrates and polysaccharides are polymers of carbohydrates.

How Many Monomers Are In Monosaccharides?

One way we can classify carbohydrates is by the number of monomers they contain. If the carbohydrate is made up of a single-sugar monomer, it is called a monosaccharide–mono meaning one, and sacchar meaning sugar.

Are Monosaccharides A Type Of Monomer?

Monosaccharides are the monomers from which larger carbohydrates are made. Glucose, galactose and fructose are common monosaccharides. A condensation reaction between two monosaccharides forms a glycosidic bond.

Why Are Monosaccharides Monomers?

Monosaccharides are the building blocks of carbohydrates. Mono means on, and saccharide refers to sugar. Monosaccharides can join together to make larger, more complex carbohydrates. This means that yes, they are monomers.

What Are The 4 Types Of Monomers?

Monomers are atoms or small molecules that bond together to form more complex structures such as polymers. There are four main types of monomer, including sugars, amino acids, fatty acids, and nucleotides.

What Is The Monosaccharide Monomer Structure?

Monosaccharides are the simplest carbohydrates; they conform to the general chemical formula (CH2O)x and are termed simple sugars. The most commonly occurring monosaccharides contain three to six carbon atoms in an unbranched single-bonded chain. Monosaccharides are signified by the suffix -ose.


Monosaccharide or simple sugar is a simple molecule, whereas more complex sugar is more than one molecule joined together by chemical bonds. Generally, sugars are made up of oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen, with no nitrogen, except for amino sugars. The simplest sugars are monosaccharides and they are monomers of carbohydrates. 6-C monosaccharides are prevalent but monosaccharides can have from three to seven carbons in their structure. The classification of monosaccharides also depends on the number of carbon in their sugar. When sugar consists of three carbon then it is called trioses. Similarly, five carbons sugar is called pentose and six-carbon sugars are called hexoses. Now, you have understood all about monosaccharide monomers.   

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