ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Carbohydrates - Biology - Part 2

Updated on September 11, 2015

Note: this is part two of a hub series about carbohydrates.

For the first part, click here.

Amylose and Amylopectin
Amylose and Amylopectin | Source


Starch is the storage carbohydrate for plants. It is made up of the two molecules: amylose and amylopectin.

  • Amylose is a straight chain of between 2000 and 5000 glucose molecules. It has 1,4 glycosidic bond (its 1st and 4th carbons attach to other 1st and 4th carbons in order to form bonds).
  • The position of these 1,4 bonds causes the long chain to coil into a spiral shape.
  • Amylopectin – Is a polymer of glucose but has side branches stemming out of it. 1,6 bonds hold the side branches onto the main chain.

Most plants contain starch grains (stores of starch) that consist of 70-80% amylopectin and 20-30% amylose.

Because starch is insoluble, it has little to no effect on osmosis (net movement of water from high concentrations to low concentrations) in plant cells. This makes it very good for storage purposes. Furthermore, starch is very compact due to its spiral shape and thus can densely store glucose molecules in small spaces.

Cellulose Microfibrils - Cellulose makes up a very large part of plant matter.
Cellulose Microfibrils - Cellulose makes up a very large part of plant matter.


Also known as ‘dietary fibre’ and the ‘non-starch’ polysaccharide.

  • It contains between 1000 and 10,000 glucose molecules in a long chain with no branches.
  • It is a polymer of beta glucose (as opposed to alpha glucose in starch and glycogen).
  • It consists of 1,4 beta glucose glycosidic bonds.
  • Cellulose forms microfibrils: each long straight cellulose chain forms hydrogen bonds between every single -OH group of adjacent cellulose chains to form a very strong structure. This is called a microfibril.

Diagram of the Uses of Glycogen
Diagram of the Uses of Glycogen


Glycogen is the animal equivalent of starch. It is a molecule used for storage in animals, fungi, and bacteria.

Glycogen has a similar structure to Amylopectin. It like starch, has many side branches giving it a high surface area. Glycogen has a similar structure to Amylopectin. This makes the molecule easily hydrolysed (broken down by adding water) and so the glucose monomers are very readily accessible. Humans store glycogen in their muscles and livers.

Carbohydrate Structure Explained by Video :)


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I’d been honored to receive a call from my friend as soon as he discovered the important recommendations shared on your site. Going through your blog posting is a real fantastic experience. Thank you for taking into account readers like me, and I desire for you the best of achievements for a professional surface area.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)