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Elements and Functional Groups of the Macromolecules
Episode 405th April 2021 • My AP Biology Thoughts • Hopewell Valley Student Publications Network
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My AP Biology Thoughts  

Unit 1 Episode #40

Welcome to My AP Biology Thoughts podcast, my name is Victoria and I am your host for episode 40 called Unit 1: Elements and Functional Groups of the Macromolecules. Today we will be discussing the elements and functional groups of macromolecules.

Segment 1: Introduction to Functional groups and elements of the macromolecules

Functional Groups: 

  • Collections of atoms that attach the carbon skeleton of an organic molecule and confer specific properties.
  • Each type of organic molecule has its own specific type of functional group.
  • Functional groups in biological molecules play an important role in the formation of molecules like DNA, proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids.

Functional groups include: hydroxyl, methyl, carbonyl, carboxyl, amino, phosphate, and sulfhydryl


Elements: Carbon, Hydrogen, and Oxygen (1:2:1 ratio) 

Functional Groups:

  • Hydroxyl
  • Carbonyl
  • Aldehyde (O= on the end of carbon chain)

Ketone ( O= in the middle of a carbon chain)

Proteins/Amino Acid:

Elements: Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Nitrogen

Functional Groups: 

  • Carboxylic acid
  • R group
  • Amine 


Elements: Carbon, Hydrogen, and Oxygen (sometimes P, N, and S) 

Functional Groups:

  • Hydroxyl 
  • Carboxylic Acids 
  • Esters (ester linkages)

Nucleic acids:

Elements: Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Phosphorus, and Nitrogen

Functional Groups:

  • Phosphate
  • Some nitrogenous bases have Carbonyl and Amino
  • Sugars have hydroxyl 

Segment 2: Example of these groups in the Macromolecules


Proteins/Amino Acid:


Nucleic Acids:

Segment 3: Digging Deeper Connect it to the Chemistry of life/How do these functional groups affect the macromolecules

Functional groups are specific groupings of atoms within molecules that have their own characteristic properties, regardless of the other atoms present in a molecule. They are responsible for the macromolecules functions, which play a role in the chemical processes necessary for living organisms to survive. 

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  • “Ice Flow” Kevin MacLeod (
  • Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License

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