Lifeforms are formed of large, modular, organic molecules called macromolecules, large organic molecules called Lipids, and simpler molecules such as H2O.

Macromolecules are commonly grouped into the following categorises:

  • Protien
  • Nucleic Acid
  • Carbohydrate

The concentrations of these types of molecule by mass, in a dehydrated (therefore dead) "E. coli" are:

Protein: 55%
Nucleic Acid: 23%
Carbohydrate: 0%
Lipid: 9%

From: http://book.bionumbers.org/what-is-the-macromolecular-composition-of-the-cell

Q: Repeating the above table for other lifeforms, for the whole organism if it is multi-cellular, can examples be given of lifeforms that are particular outliers?

I have been unable to find much more useful information, however this data probably exists, I could find nothing for larger lifeforms such an animals. Around 60% of a cells cytosol is proteins, however this is by volume, not by mass.

  • $\begingroup$ I hope I was able to better word the question. Knowing more terminology made it possible to search for information more effectively and I was able to find an example. I can continue working on the question if needed, feedback is appreciated. $\endgroup$ – alan2here Feb 8 '16 at 15:26
  • $\begingroup$ what do you want to know when you saw "outliers"? I didn't catch that one $\endgroup$ – Tusky Feb 8 '16 at 15:47
  • $\begingroup$ Extreme, unusually high or low proportion by mass of one of those four categories. Protein, Nucleic Acid, Carbohydrate, or Lipid. An outlier in these concentrations compared to the vast majority of other lifeforms. From the chat, bacteria have a lot of protein and grains have a lot of carbohydrate, although I think grains are only part of a larger organism. $\endgroup$ – alan2here Feb 8 '16 at 16:31
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The values that you mentioned are not absolute. There is certainly a range. If you look at plants, the composition of carbohydrates will be high because of the cellulose cell wall. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Feb 9 '16 at 6:03

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