Main Difference – Starch vs Cellulose vs Glycogen

Starch, cellulose, and glycogen are 3 forms of polymeric carbohydprices found in living cells. Autotrophs develop glucose as the simple sugar during photosynthesis. All these carbohydrate polymers, starch, cellushed, and also glycogen, are made up of joining glucose monomer devices together by different forms of glycosidic bonds. They serve as chemical energy sources and also the structural components of the cell. The main difference in between starch, cellulose and also glycogen is that starch is the main storage carbohydrate source in plants whereas cellushed is the major structural component of the cell wall of plants and glycogen is the main storage carbohydprice power source of fungi and pets.

This post explores,

1. What is Starch – Structure, Properties, Source, Function 2. What is Cellushed – Structure, Properties, Source, Function 3. What is Glycogen – Structure, Properties, Source, Function 4. What is the distinction between Starch Cellushed and Glycogen


What is Starch

Starch is the polysaccharide synthesized by green plants as their main power store. Glucose is developed by photofabricated organisms as a basic organic compound. It is converted into insoluble substances choose oils, fats, and starch for storage. Insoluble storage substances favor starch do not influence the water potential inside the cell. They might not move ameans from the storage areas. In plants, glucose and also starch are converted right into structural components prefer cellulose. They are likewise converted right into proteins which are compelled for the growth and also repair of the cellular structures.

Plants store glucose in staple foodstuffs prefer fruits, tubers prefer potatoes, seeds prefer rice, wwarm, corn, and cassava. Starch occurs in granules dubbed amyloplasts, arranged right into semi-crystalline structures. Starch is written of two types of polymers: amylose and also amylopectin. Amylose is a linear and also helical chain yet amylopectin is a branched chain. Around 25% of starch in plants are amylose while the remainder is amylopectin. Glucose 1-phosphate is initially converted into ADP-glucose. Then ADP-glucose is polymerized via 1,4-alpha glycosidic bond by the enzyme, starch synthase. This polymerization creates the direct polymer, amylose. The 1,6-alpha glycosidic bonds are introduced to the chain by starch branching enzyme that produces amylopectin. Starch granules of rice are presented in figure 1.

You are watching: What is the major structural difference between starch and glycogen?


Figure 1: Starch granules in rice

What is Cellulose

Cellushed is the polysaccharide which is comprised of hundred to many hundreds of glucose units. It is the major component of the cell wall of plants. Many algae and also oomycetes also use cellushed to develop their cell wall. Cellushed is a directly chain polymer in which 1,4-beta glycosidic bonds are developed between glucose molecules. Hydrogen bonds are developed in between multiple hydroxyl teams of one chain with surrounding chains. This allows the 2 chains to be held together firmly. Likewise, several cellushed chains are affiliated in the development of cellushed fibers. A cellushed fiber, which is made up of three cellushed chains, is shown in figure 2. Hydrogen bonds in between cellulose chains are displayed in cyan color lines.


Figure 2: A cellulose fiber

What is Glycogen

Glycogen is the storage polysaccharide of animals and also fungi. It is the analogue to starch in animals. Glycogen is structurally similar to amylopectin but highly branched than the last. Liclose to chain creates via 1,4-alpha glycosidic bonds and also branches occur by means of 1,6-alpha glycosidic bonds. Branching occurs in every 8 to 12 glucose molecules in the chain. Its granules take place in the cytosol of cells. Liver cells, and the muscle cells, keep glycogen in people. Once required, glycogen is broken down into glucose by glycogen phosphorylase. The procedure is dubbed glycogenolysis. Glucogon is the hormone which stimulates glycogenolysis. 1,4-alpha glycosidic and 1,6-alpha glycosidic linkperiods of glycogen are displayed in figure 3.


Figure 3: Bonds in glycogen

Difference Between Starch Cellulose and Glycogen


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

Cellulose: Cellushed is the primary structural component of the cell wevery one of plants.

Glycogen: Glycogen is the major storage carbohydprice energy source of fungi and also animals.


Starch: The monomer of starch is alpha glucose.

Cellulose: The monomer of cellushed is beta glucose.

Glycogen: The monomer of glycogen is alpha glucose.

Bond Between Monomers

Starch: The 1,4 glycosidic bonds in amylose and 1,4 and also 1,6 glycosidic bond in amylopectin take place in between monomers of starch. 

Cellulose: 1,4 glycosidic bonds take place between the monomers of cellulose.

Glycogen: 1,4 and also 1,6 glycosidic bonds take place between the monomers of glycogen.

Nature of the Chain

Starch: Amyshed is an unbranched, coiled chain and amylopectin is a long branched chain, of which some are coiled.

Cellulose: Cellulose is a right, lengthy, unbranched chain, which creates H-bonds through surrounding chains.

Glycogen: Glycogen is a short, many branched chains of which some chains are coiled. 

Molecular Formula

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

Cellulose: The molecular formula of cellushed is (C6H10O5)n.

Glycogen: The molecular formula of glycogen is C24H42O21.

Molar Mass

Starch: Molar mass of starch is variable.

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

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

Found in

Starch: Starch can be found in plants.

Cellulose: Cellulose is uncovered in plants.

Glycogen: Glycogen is discovered in animals and also fungi.


Starch: Starch serves as a carbohydprice power store.

Cellulose: Cellushed is associated in the structure of cellular frameworks favor cell wall surfaces.

Glycogen: Glycogen serves as a carbohydrate energy store.


Starch: Starch occurs in grains.

Cellulose: Cellulose occurs in fibers.

Glycogen: Glycogen occurs in tiny granules.


Starch, cellulose, and also glycogen are polysaccharides uncovered in organisms. Starch is discovered in plants as their significant storage create of carbohydrates. Linear chains of starch are dubbed amyshed and when branched they are referred to as amylopectin. Glycogen is equivalent to amylopectin but is extremely branched. It is the significant carbohydrate storage create in pets and also fungi. Cellushed is a straight polysaccharide, which develops hydrogen bonds among numerous cellushed chains to create a fibrous framework. It is the major component of the cell wall of plants, some algae, and fungi. Hence, the main difference between starch cellushed and glycogen is their duty in each organism.

See more: What Is A Disadvantage Of Sanitary Landfills? Advantage And Disadvantage Of Sanitary Landfill

Reference:1. Berg, Jeremy M. “Complex Carbohydrates Are Formed by Linkage of Monosaccharides.” Biochemistry. fifth edition. UNITED STATE National Library of Medicine, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 17 May 2017. .

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