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Doctoral thesis, 2013

Barley starch

Källman, Anna


This thesis examined barley amylopectin structure and looked for correlations between the structure and physical properties of starch. The structure of amylopectin and gelatinisation and retrogradation of starch were studied in 10 different barley cultivars/breeding lines with differing genetic background. Amylopectin is built up of thousands of chains of glucose monomers, organised into clusters. The detailed fine structure of amylopectin was studied by isolating clusters of amylopectin and their building blocks, which are the tightly branched units building up the clusters. Barley cultivars/breeding lines possessing the amo1 mutation had fewer long chains of DP≥38 in amylopectin and more large building blocks. The structure of building blocks was rather conserved between the different barley cultivars/breeding lines studied and was categorized into different size groups. These different building blocks were shown to be randomly distributed in the amylopectin molecule. The C-chains in amylopectin can be of any length and are a category of chains different from the B-chains. The backbone in amylopectin consists of a special type of B-chains which, when cleaved by α-amylase, become chains of a similar type to C-chains. Gelatinisation and retrogradation (recrystallisation of gelatinised starch) of barley starch was studied by differential scanning calorimetry. The amo1 mutation resulted in a broader gelatinisation temperature range and a higher enthalpy of retrogradation. Other structural features were also found to influence the physical properties of starch. Small clusters and denser structure of the building blocks resulted in higher gelatinisation temperature. Fast retrogradation was observed in barley which had amylopectin with shorter chains and many large building blocks consisting of many chains. Amylopectin structure was also studied in developing barley kernels. Three barley cultivars/breeding lines were grown in a phytotron and kernels were harvested at 9, 12 and 24 days after flowering. The results showed that amylopectin synthesized at later stages of development had a more tightly branched structure. Expression of the enzymes involved in starch biosynthesis is also known to change during endosperm development.


barley; starch; amylopectin fine structure; clusters; building blocks; C-chain; gelatinisation; retrogradation

Published in

Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
2013, number: 2013:73
ISBN: 978-91-576-7884-3, eISBN: 978-91-576-7885-0
Publisher: Department of Food Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Authors' information

Källman, Anna
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Food Science

UKÄ Subject classification

Food Science

URI (permanent link to this page)