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J Plant Physiol. 2003 Jul;160(7):765-77.

Towards a more versatile alpha-glucan biosynthesis in plants.

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  • 1Wageningen University, P.O. Box 386, 6700 AJ Wageningen, The Netherlands.


Starch is an important storage polysaccharide in many plants. It is composed of densely packed alpha-glucans, consisting of 1,4- and 1,4,6-linked glucose residues. The starch polymers are used in many industrial applications. The biosynthetic machinery for assembling the granule has been manipulated in many different ways to gain insight into the process of starch biosynthesis and to engineer starches with improved functionalities. With respect to the latter, two generic technologies with great potential have been developed: (i) introduction of new linkage types in starch polymers (1,3- and 1,6-linkages), and (ii) engineering granule-boundness. The toolbox to engineer this new generation of starch polymers is discussed.

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