Starch metabolism in leaves
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Starch is the most abundant storage carbohydrate produced in plants. The initiation of transitory starch synthesis and degradation in plastids depends mainly on diurnal cycle, post-translational regulation of enzyme activity and starch phosphorylation. For the proper structure of starch granule the activities of all starch synthase isoenzymes, branching enzymes and debranching enzymes are needed. The intensity of starch biosynthesis depends mainly on the activity of AGPase (adenosine 5'-diphosphate glucose pyrophosphorylase). The key enzymes in starch degradation are β-amylase, isoamylase 3 and disproportionating enzyme. However, it should be underlined that there are some crucial differences in starch metabolism between heterotrophic and autotrophic tissues, e.g. is the ability to build multiprotein complexes responsible for biosynthesis and degradation of starch granules in chloroplasts. The observed huge progress in understanding of starch metabolism was possible mainly due to analyses of the complete Arabidopsis and rice genomes and of numerous mutants with altered starch metabolism in leaves. The aim of this paper is to review current knowledge on transient starch metabolism in higher plants.
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