Main difference – Starch vs Cellulose vs Glycogen

Starch, cellulose, and also glycogen are three types of polymeric carbohydrates uncovered in living cells. Autotrophs create glucose as the straightforward sugar throughout photosynthesis. All these carbohydrate polymers, starch, cellulose, and glycogen, are comprised of involvement glucose monomer units together by different varieties of glycosidic bonds. They serve as chemical power sources and the structural contents of the cell. The main difference in between starch, cellulose and glycogen is the starch is the main storage carbohydrate resource in tree whereas cellulose is the key structural component of the cell wall surface of plants and glycogen is the main storage carbohydrate energy resource of fungi and also animals.

This short article explores,

1. What is strength – Structure, Properties, Source, Function 2. What is Cellulose – Structure, Properties, Source, Function 3. What is Glycogen – Structure, Properties, Source, Function 4. What is the difference in between Starch Cellulose and Glycogen


What is Starch

Starch is the polysaccharide synthesized by eco-friendly plants as their main energy store. Glucose is developed by photosynthetic organisms as a basic organic compound. It is converted into insoluble substances prefer oils, fats, and also starch because that storage. Insoluble warehouse substances choose starch carry out not impact the water potential within the cell. They might not move away indigenous the warehouse areas. In plants, glucose and starch space converted into structural contents like cellulose. Lock are also converted right into proteins which are required for the growth and repair that the moving structures.

Plants store glucose in staple foods like fruits, tubers like potatoes, seeds choose rice, wheat, corn, and also cassava. Strength occurs in granules referred to as amyloplasts, arranged right into semi-crystalline structures. Starch is created of two types of polymers: amylose and amylopectin. Amylose is a linear and helical chain however amylopectin is a branched chain. About 25% of strength in plants space amylose if the rest is amylopectin. Glucose 1-phosphate is an initial converted into ADP-glucose. Then ADP-glucose is polymerized via 1,4-alpha glycosidic link by the enzyme, starch synthase. This polymerization develops the linear polymer, amylose. The 1,6-alpha glycosidic bonds are presented to the chain by starch branching enzyme that produces amylopectin. Starch granules the rice are displayed in figure 1.

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Figure 1: starch granules in rice

What is Cellulose

Cellulose is the polysaccharide i m sorry is consisted of of hundred to many thousands that glucose units. It is the major component the the cell wall surface of plants. Many algae and also oomycetes also use cellulose to type their cell wall. Cellulose is a right chain polymer in i beg your pardon 1,4-beta glycosidic bonds are formed between glucose molecules. Hydrogen bonds space formed between multiple hydroxyl groups of one chain with surrounding chains. This enables the two chains come be organized together firmly. Likewise, number of cellulose chain are associated in the development of cellulose fibers. A cellulose fiber, i m sorry is comprised of 3 cellulose chains, is shown in figure 2. Hydrogen bonds between cellulose chains are shown in cyan shade lines.


Figure 2: A cellulose fiber

What is Glycogen

Glycogen is the warehouse polysaccharide that animals and fungi. The is the analogue to starch in animals. Glycogen is structurally similar to amylopectin however highly branched 보다 the latter. Linear chain forms via 1,4-alpha glycosidic bonds and branches take place via 1,6-alpha glycosidic bonds. Branching occurs in every 8 to 12 glucose molecules in the chain. That granules happen in the cytosol the cells. Liver cells, and the muscle cells, save glycogen in humans. When needed, glycogen is damaged down into glucose through glycogen phosphorylase. The procedure is called glycogenolysis. Glucogon is the hormone which stimulates glycogenolysis. 1,4-alpha glycosidic and also 1,6-alpha glycosidic linkages that glycogen are presented in figure 3.


Figure 3: bonds in glycogen

Difference in between Starch Cellulose and Glycogen


Starch: Starch is the main storage carbohydrate source in plants.

Cellulose: Cellulose is the main structural ingredient of the cell wall of plants.

Glycogen: Glycogen is the main storage carbohydrate energy source of fungi and also animals.


Starch: The monomer of strength is alpha glucose.

Cellulose: The monomer that cellulose is beta glucose.

Glycogen: The monomer the glycogen is alpha glucose.

Bond in between Monomers

Starch: The 1,4 glycosidic bonds in amylose and 1,4 and 1,6 glycosidic shortcut in amylopectin occur between monomers of starch. 

Cellulose: 1,4 glycosidic bond occur in between the monomers of cellulose.

Glycogen: 1,4 and also 1,6 glycosidic binding occur between the monomers the glycogen.

Nature of the Chain

Starch: Amylose is an unbranched, coiled chain and also amylopectin is a lengthy branched chain, of i beg your pardon some space coiled.

Cellulose: Cellulose is a straight, long, unbranched chain, which creates H-bonds with adjacent chains.

Glycogen: Glycogen is a short, countless branched chains of which some chains space coiled. 

Molecular Formula

Starch: The molecular formula of strength is (C6H10O5)n

Cellulose: The molecule formula of cellulose is (C6H10O5)n.

Glycogen: The molecule formula of glycogen is C24H42O21.

Molar Mass

Starch: Molar mass of strength is variable.

Cellulose: Molar mass of cellulose is 162.1406 g/mol.

Glycogen: Molar fixed of glycogen is 666.5777 g/mol.

Found in

Starch: Starch have the right to be uncovered in plants.

Cellulose: Cellulose is uncovered in plants.

Glycogen: Glycogen is found in animals and also fungi.


Starch: Starch serves as a carbohydrate energy store.

Cellulose: Cellulose is connected in the building of moving structures favor cell walls.

Glycogen: Glycogen serves as a carbohydrate power store.


Starch: Starch wake up in grains.

Cellulose: Cellulose occurs in fibers.

Glycogen: Glycogen wake up in tiny granules.


Starch, cellulose, and also glycogen space polysaccharides uncovered in organisms. Strength is uncovered in plants as their major storage form of carbohydrates. Linear chains of starch are called amylose and when branched lock are called amylopectin. Glycogen is similar to amylopectin but is very branched. That is the major carbohydrate storage type in animals and also fungi. Cellulose is a linear polysaccharide, which creates hydrogen bonds amongst several cellulose chains to type a fibrous structure. It is the significant component the the cell wall surface of plants, some algae, and also fungi. Thus, the main difference in between starch cellulose and also glycogen is their duty in each organism.

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Reference:1. Berg, Jeremy M. “Complex carbohydrate Are formed by linkage of Monosaccharides.” Biochemistry. 5th edition. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 17 might 2017. .

Image Courtesy:1. “Rice starch – microscopy” by MKD – Own job-related (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia2. “Cellulose spacefilling model”By CeresVesta (talk) (Uploads) – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia 3. “Glycogen” (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia