Chitin is the second most abundant organic chemical in nature, and it naturally appears as a fiber-forming polymer in many lower eukaryotes, similar to how cellulose protects plants. It's an unbranched long-chain polysaccharide made up of N-acetylglucosamine residues linked by 1,4 covalent bonds. Chitin is found in a variety of biological structures, including insect peritrophic matrix, fungal cell walls, crustacean cuticles, protozoan cyst walls, and nematode eggshells. Chitin derivatives, such as chitooligosaccharides, have a wide range of biotechnological applications due to their diverse properties. Chitin derivatives are also widely employed in biomedicine, pharmaceutical and food technologies, and agricultural biosciences.
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