Starch: Origins, Structure and Metabolism
Starch: Origins, Structure and Metabolism provides a comprehensive overview of the most important aspects of starch biology by leading researchers in the field.
Starch is an important carbohydrate reserve of higher plants and plays a crucial role in human nutrition, representing as much as 75% of the daily caloric intake. It is also a valuable raw material for a variety of industrial applications including the production of bioethanol. Starch is synthesized within the plastids of plants as discrete water-insoluble granules. The fine structure of starch granules determines end-usage, and in particular has an important impact on human and animal health. Despite its critical importance, many fundamental questions remain regarding the origins of the pathway, details of the structural organization of the granule, regulatory aspects of starch biosynthesis and degradation, and the mechanism of granule initiation.
This book discusses new ideas on the evolutionary origins of the starch metabolic pathway and current theories on the fine structure of the starch granule. It provides an overview of the key groups of enzymes involved in biosynthesis, including their regulation and organization into multienzyme complexes. It also covers starch degradation in plastids, including the process of glucan phosphorylation and metabolism of polyglucans. Various biotechnological applications of starches are discussed in relation to specific physicochemical properties that govern their applicability in the food and industrial sectors. The book is directed at plant biologists, geneticists, plant breeders, food scientists, the industrial sector, and graduate students.