to compare and contrast the structures and uses that starch, glycogen, and cellulose.

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The polysaccharides are the most abundant carbohydrate in nature and serve a range of functions, together as power storage or as contents of plant cell walls. Polysaccharides are very large polymers written of tens to thousands of monosaccharides joined with each other by glycosidic linkages. The three many abundant polysaccharides space starch, glycogen, and cellulose. These 3 are referred to as homopolymers due to the fact that each yields just one kind of monosaccharide (glucose) after complete hydrolysis. Heteropolymers might contain street acids, amino sugars, or noncarbohydrate building material in enhancement to monosaccharides. Heteropolymers are typical in nature (gums, pectins, and also other substances) but will no be disputed further in this textbook. The polysaccharides room nonreducing carbohydrates, are not sweet tasting, and do not undergo mutarotation.


Starch is the most important resource of carbohydrates in the human diet and accounts for an ext than 50% of our carbohydrate intake. It occurs in tree in the type of granules, and also these are an especially abundant in seeds (especially the grain grains) and also tubers, whereby they offer as a storage form of carbohydrates. The failure of strength to glucose nourishes the plant during periods of diminished photosynthetic activity. We regularly think the potatoes as a “starchy” food, yet various other plants save on computer a much greater percentage of starch (potatoes 15%, wheat 55%, corn 65%, and rice 75%). Commercial starch is a white powder.

Starch is a mixture of two polymers: amylose and also amylopectin. Herbal starches consist of of about 10%–30% amylose and 70%–90% amylopectin. Amylose is a straight polysaccharide composed totally of D-glucose devices joined by the α-1,4-glycosidic linkages we witnessed in maltose (part (a) of figure (PageIndex1)). Experimental proof indicates that amylose is no a right chain of glucose units however instead is coiled favor a spring, with 6 glucose monomers per turn (part (b) of number (PageIndex1)). When coiled in this fashion, amylose has just enough room in its main point to accommodate one iodine molecule. The characteristics blue-violet shade that appears when starch is treated v iodine is because of the formation of the amylose-iodine complex. This shade test is sensitive sufficient to detect also minute amounts of starch in solution.

Figure (PageIndex1): Amylose. (a) Amylose is a linear chain the α-D-glucose units joined together by α-1,4-glycosidic bonds. (b) due to the fact that of hydrogen bonding, amylose acquires a spiral structure that includes six glucose devices per turn.

Amylopectin is a branched-chain polysaccharide composed of glucose units linked primarily by α-1,4-glycosidic bonds however with occasional α-1,6-glycosidic bonds, which room responsible for the branching. A molecule that amylopectin might contain countless thousands that glucose units v branch clues occurring about every 25–30 systems (Figure (PageIndex2)). The helical structure of amylopectin is disrupted through the branching the the chain, so instead of the deep blue-violet shade amylose provides with iodine, amylopectin produce a much less intense reddish brown.

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Like amylose, cellulose is a linear polymer the glucose. The differs, however, in the the glucose units are joined by β-1,4-glycosidic linkages, developing a an ext extended framework than amylose (part (a) of figure (PageIndex3)). This too much linearity permits a great deal the hydrogen bonding between OH teams on nearby chains, resulting in them come pack closely into fibers (part (b) of figure (PageIndex3)). Together a result, cellulose exhibits little interaction through water or any type of other solvent. Cotton and wood, because that example, are fully insoluble in water and have considerable mechanical strength. Due to the fact that cellulose walk not have a helical structure, that does no bind come iodine to type a colored product.