Difference between Glycogen and Starch (With Table)

All living cells need the energy to survive. The energy is generated in different ways in plants and in animals as the two have cells that function completely differently.

The two polymers of glucose that are found in a living cell are glycogen and starch. Many have used the words interchangeably but they are totally different from each other.

So, what is the main difference between glycogen and starch? Glycogen is produced by animals and is known as animal starch while starch is produced by plants.

For information about the difference between glycogen and starch in tabular form continue reading the article. You will also get to learn more about the similarities between the two.

You May Also Like: Difference between Friendship and Relationship

Comparison Table (Glycogen Vs Starch)

Basic TermsGlycogenStarch
DefinitionIt is the polymeric carbohydrate of glucose.It is the complex sugar of glucose that is the major storage carbohydrate for plants.
ProductionIt is produced by animals.It is produced by plants.
Monomer chainsIt is a polymer where the monomer units form the short branched chains.It is made up of two polymers that are amylose which forms linear and coiled chains and amylopectin which forms branched chains.
Molecular formulaThe molecular formula is C24H42O21.The molecular formula is (C6H10O5)n.
AppearanceIt occurs in form of small granules.It occurs in form of grains.
FunctionIt serves as energy-storing carbohydrates in animals.It serves as energy-storing carbohydrates in plants.
Number of moleculesIt is made up of one molecule.It is made up of two molecules.

What is Glycogen?

Glycogen is a polymeric carbohydrate of glucose that is the major component for animals and fungi. It is found in animals.

It only has one polymer, unlike starch that contains two polymers. The monomer units form the short branched chains which are held by strong glycosidic bonds.

In animals, it is found in liver cells, stomach cells, and muscle cells. It is also referred to as an animal cell. It stores glucose which provides the body with energy when it is insufficient.

It is broken down into glucose to supply the body with the energy it requires. The process is stimulated with glucagon hormone.

In humans, glycogen is stored as body fats in the adipose tissues to provide energy when needed. Blood sugar glucose is also stored as glycogen with the action of the pancreas to prevent diabetes mellitus.

The glycogen that is stored in muscle cells helps to keep the body ready for strenuous exercises and actions when required.

What is Starch?

Starch is a complex sugar of glucose that is the major storage carbohydrate for plants. It is made up of two polymers are amylose and amylopectin.

Amylose is forms linear and coiled chains while amylopectin forms branched chains. Starch occurs in granules called amyloplasts in plant cells.

Starch is further converted into cellulose that helps in energy production, growth, and repair of the cells. Plants that contain a good amount of starch include potatoes, rice, and corn.

It is a polysaccharide carbohydrate formed by an alpha glucose monomer. It is used for various commercial purposes such as the manufacturing of paper and textile industries.

Main Difference between Glycogen and Starch

  1. Glycogen is energy storage carbohydrates mainly found in animals and fungi while starch is energy storage carbohydrates mainly found in plants.
  2. Glycogen is made up of one molecule while starch is made up of two molecules that is amylose and amylopectin.
  3. Glycogen only forms the branched-chain structure while starch forms linear, coiled, and branch chain structures.
  4. Glycogen is not used for commercial purposes while starch is used for commercial purposes in the production of paper and textile industries.
  5. Glycogen is stored in the liver, stomach, and muscle cells while starch is stored in amyloplasts of the plant cell.
  6. Glycogen occurs in small granules while starch occurs in grains.
  7. Glycogen functions as energy-storing carbohydrates in animals while starch functions as energy-storing carbohydrates in plants.

Similarities between Glycogen and Starch

  1. They both produce energy.
  2. Both contain molecules.
  3. Both are stored to be used when energy is insufficient.

Conclusion

Glycogen and starch are carbohydrate polymers that are of great importance both in plants and animal cells. They lead to the production of energy that is really needed by the cells.

However, the two are different. The main difference between glycogen and starch is that glycogen is produced in animals and fungi while starch is produced in plants.

More Sources and References:

Leave a Comment