What is a Palynomorph?

       A palynomorph is very resistant to palynological preperations (HCl and HF) because it is made up of one of the following three components (the complex polymers):

        Sporopollenin is the most common of the three.  It is found in dinoflagellates, acritarchs, and the cell walls of spores and pollen.  It is very similar to chitin in behaviour and properties.  It is the most inert organic compound known.  Although it is the most common, scientist and experts are still uncertain of the chemical structure.

        Chitin is found in spores, fungi, scolecodonts, arthropod organs (insect mouoth parts), and microforams.  It is structurally very similar to cellulose, the only difference is the addition of the acetamide group (HNCOCH3) - see diagram below.  Chitin is more resistant to carbonization than sporopollenin.

        Pseudochitin is found in chitinozoans.  It is similar to both of the aforementioned compounds.  Not much is written about this compound so I suppose it is somewhere in between both.

Chemical Structure of Chitin

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