Though polysaccharides are also biopolymers, it is not so common to talk of 'sequencing' a polysaccharide, for several reasons. Although many polysaccharides are linear, many have branches. Many different units (individual monosaccharides) can be used, and bonded in different ways. However, the main theoretical reason is that whereas the other polymers listed here are primarily generated in a 'template-dependent' manner by one processive enzyme, each individual join in a polysaccharide may be formed by a different enzyme. In many cases the assembly is not uniquely specified; depending on which enzyme acts, one of several different units may be incorporated. This can lead to a family of similar molecules being formed. This is particularly true for plant polysaccharides. Methods for the structure determination of oligosaccharides and polysaccharides include NMR spectroscopy and methylation analysis.
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