What Are the Structural Differences Between Starch and Glycogen?


Quick Answer

The chief difference between starch and glycogen is that glycogen consists of long glucose polymer chains with a significant number of branch points, usually at every 8 to 12 glucose residue, while starch consists of both amylose and amypectin, typically with fewer branch points. Starch molecules are also considerably larger than glycogen and may even be visible by microscope.

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Full Answer

Glycogen is produced by animals and starch by plants; both store energy and feature a spiraling structure. In addition to having generally fewer branch points, the number of branch points in a starch molecule can vary wildly. A single plant typically produces some starch molecules with branch points and some that will contain none at all.

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