Amylopectin vs Glycogen: Difference and Comparison

Plants make their food, and some animals depend on them for their need. Plants store their food in the leaves as a starch-a polymer of amylose and amylopectin, the branched and complicated structure of carbohydrates. Animals keep their food in the form of glycogen.


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Key Takeaways

  1. Amylopectin is a complex carbohydrate found in plants, while glycogen is a complex carbohydrate found in animals.
  2. Amylopectin is used by plants to store energy, while animals use glycogen to store energy.
  3. The structure of amylopectin is highly branched, while glycogen has an even more highly branched structure.

Amylopectin vs. Glycogen

Amylopectin is in an insoluble form whereas Glycogen is a soluble form. The former is a form of starch and is a branched chain polysaccharide in plants and the latter is storage polysaccharide of animals and fungi. Glycogen is a highly branched polymer when compared to Amylopectin.

Amylopectin vs Glycogen

Amylopectin is a form of starch stored in plants as plant food. It is a highly branched structure that consists of polymer units of D-glucose units and is attached by 1,4-α glycosidic bonds, and the 1,6-α glycosidic bonds cling to the branches.

Glycogen is a form of starch that is formed by the combination of amylose and amylopectin. The sub-unit of glycogen is said to be the complex form of sugars.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAmylopectinGlycogen
DefinitionAmylopectin is a polysaccharide that is made up of monomers of glucose.Glycogen is also a polysaccharide that, on hydrolysis, releases Glucose.
Starch FormIt is an insoluble form of starch.It is a soluble form of starch.
LocationIt is referred to as plant starch because of one of the forms of storage food for plants.It is the stored food of animals.
BranchingThe structure of amylopectin is highly branched.  The structure of glycogen is less branched
Branch SizeThe branch size of the system of Amylopectin is shorter.The branch size of the structure of the glycogen is larger.
Repeating of Branch StructureAfter every 25-30 subunitsAfter every 8-12 subunits

What is Amylopectin?

Amylopectin is a plant-stored food product in the leaves, fruits, stems, etc. It is a polysaccharide that is made up of the monomers of D-glucose sub-units.

The structure of the Amylopectin is highly branched, and it occurs after every 25-30 units of D-glucose units. In a single unit of Amylopectin, surprisingly, thousands of glucose units (to be assumed from 2000-200,000 glucose units) are present.

The size of the Amylopectin structure is 107-8. As Amylopectin is supposed to be insoluble in water, we need certain enzymes to break it. Thus, the amylase enzyme helps in breaking down the amylopectin.

It is supposed that Amylopectin contains almost 75% and more of the starch granules of the plant. Amylopectin is a rich energy source found in potatoes, rice, corn, and many more.


What is Glycogen?

Glycogen is said to be the stored food of animals and fungi. A polysaccharide is made of two subunits that are – Amylose and Amylopectin.

The branching in the structure of Glycogen is less complex compared to Amylopectin. Also, repetitive branching occurs after 8-12 units of the molecule. Also, the size of the Glycogen molecule is more significant than that of Amylopectin.

Meat, Liver, and Intestines of animals are the rich source of Glycogen and can be eaten to fulfill the deficiency. In humans, Glycogen is stored in various tissues as a stored food to help regulate blood sugar levels in a human.


Main Differences Between Amylopectin and Glycogen

  1. The size of Amylopectin is supposed to be shorter, and compared to Glycogen, it has a pretty large size than the Amylopectin.
  2. The repeating of branched structure is about 25-30 subunits for Amylopectin, while for Glycogen, it is 8-12 subunits.


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