What Are the Functions of Amyloplasts?

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According to the Journal of Experimental Botany, an amyloplast’s primary functions are the degradation and synthesis of starch. Amyloplasts are non-pigmented or colorless organelles known as plastids that convert glucose into starch and store it in the stroma.

Amyloplasts also are responsible for storing the starch within the stroma of the cell, particularly within tubers and roots such as potatoes. Eighty-five percent of the amyloplast’s proteins are used for metabolic processing, energy storage and unknown processes; however, other proteins are facilitating secondary and tertiary processes within the amyloplasts. According to the Journal of Experimental Botany, 289 proteins have been identified that help with a range of processes within the amyloplasts of the cell. These functions include nitrogen and sulphur metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, cytoskeleton or plastid division and facilitating other protein-related reactions. Amyloplasts also assist with nucleic acid-related reactions as well as transportation, signaling and a variety of other miscellaneous processes. More than half of the proteins assist with metabolism and responding to stress. Enzymes that assist with sulfur, amino acid and nucleic acid metabolism are also prominent within the amyloplasts. The function of 12 percent of the proteins is not known; however, understanding the biochemistry and versatility of amyloplasts has generated more understanding of the function of plastids in general.