Difference Between Amylopectin and Glycogen (With Table)

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

Amylopectin vs Glycogen

The difference between Amylopectin and Glycogen is that Amylopectin is considered one of the forms of starch in which plants store their food in while Glycogen is said to be the store food of animals. Also, Amylopectin is an insoluble form of starch, whereas Glycogen is the pretty soluble form of starch.

An amylopectin is a form of starch stored in the 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 branches are attached by the 1,6-α glycosidic bonds. Also, it is an insoluble starch form.

Glycogen is a form of starch that is formed by the combination of amylose and amylopectin. The sub-unit of the glycogen is said to be the complex form of sugars. The structure of the Glycogen is less branched than compared to Amylopectin, and the units are attached the same as it by the 1,4-α glycosidic bond and 1,6-α glycosidic bond.

Comparison Table Between Amylopectin and Glycogen

Parameters of ComparisonAmylopectinGlycogen
DefinitionAmylopectin is a polysaccharide that is made up of monomers of glucose.Glycogen is also a polysaccharide which 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 of plants.It is the store food of animals.
BranchingThe structure of amylopectin is highly branched.  The structure of glycogen is less branched
Branch SizeThe branch size of the structure 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 said to be the 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. These monomers of D-glucose are attached in a liner chain with 1,4-α glycosidic bonds, while the branching takes place at the 1,6 α glycosidic bond.

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. The enzyme amylase is also present in our saliva, which helps humans to break this complex sugar into simple sugar within the mouth.

It is supposed that Amylopectin contains almost 75% and more of the starch granules of the plant. Amylopectin is a rich source of energy and is 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 structure of the Glycogen molecule consists of two types of bond, which are – 1,4-α glycosidic bond and 1,6-α glycosidic bonds.

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

Glycogen is the soluble form of starch which, when is reacted with Iodine, gives a reddish-brown color.

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 so that it can help in regulating the blood sugar levels in a human. This is so because when Glycogen is hydrolyzed, it releases a molecule of Glucose.

Even surprisingly, Glycogen can be stored up to 200 kilocalories which is a subtle amount of energy when in need.

Main Differences Between Amylopectin and Glycogen

  1. Amylopectin is a polysaccharide that is made up of glucose monomers, while Glycogen is made up of Amylose and Amylopectin and releases a unit of glucose on hydrolysis.
  2. Amylopectin is an insoluble starch form in the water, while Glycogen is a soluble form of starch in water.
  3. An amylopectin is a form of starch that is known as the store food for plants, and on the other hand, Glycogen is said to be the storage food for animals and fungi.
  4. Amylopectin is said to be a highly branched structure, while Glycogen has a less branched structure on the comparison.
  5. The size of the Amylopectin is supposed to be shorter, and compared to Glycogen, it has a quite large size than the Amylopectin.
  6. The repeating of branched structure is about 25-30 subunits for Amylopectin, while for Glycogen, it is 8-12 subunits.

Conclusion

Amylopectin and Glycogen both are complex carbohydrates. In plants, amylopectin is supposed to be the storage food, while in animals and fungi, Glycogen is the storage food.

Amylopectin is a complex sugar and is insoluble in water, while on hydrolysis of glycogen, it releases a molecule of glucose. The structure of both the sugar is a bit complicated, which meant they are highly and less branched.

Amylopectin is highly branched, unlike Glycogen. They also differ on the size of the branching that is Amylopectin is short branched while Glycogen is high branched structure.

The branching in the structures occurs repetitively after 25-30 subunits of D-glucose, while for the Glycogen, it occurs after every 8-12 subunits.

Potatoes, Rice, etc., are the rich source of Amylopectin, whereas Meat, Liver, Intestine of animals are the rich source of Glycogen. Thus both the polysaccharide is important for humans to need and is to be taken daily in a properly balanced diet.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0005274472903452
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0008621500810290
  3. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/pol.1956.120209402
  4. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/pol.1958.1203212503
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