Quantification of starch in plant tissues

Nat Protoc. 2006;1(3):1342-5. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2006.232.


This protocol describes a simple means of measuring the starch content of plant tissues by solubilizing the starch, converting it quantitatively to glucose and assaying the glucose. Plant tissue must initially be frozen rapidly to stop metabolism, then extracted to remove free glucose. Starch is solubilized by heating, then digested to glucose by adding glucan hydrolases. Glucose is assayed enzymatically. The method is more sensitive and accurate than iodine-based protocols, and is suitable for tissues that have a wide range of starch contents. Measurements on multiple samples can be completed within a day.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chemistry Techniques, Analytical / methods*
  • Glucose / analysis*
  • Plants / chemistry*
  • Spectrophotometry
  • Starch / analysis*


  • Starch
  • Glucose