Starch biosynthesis in cereal endosperm

Plant Physiol Biochem. 2010 Jun;48(6):383-92. doi: 10.1016/j.plaphy.2010.03.006. Epub 2010 Mar 24.


Stored starch generally consists of two d-glucose homopolymers, the linear polymer amylose and a highly branched glucan amylopectin that connects linear chains. Amylopectin structurally contributes to the crystalline organization of the starch granule in cereals. In the endosperm, amylopectin biosynthesis requires the proper execution of a coordinated series of enzymatic reactions involving ADP glucose pyrophosphorylase (AGPase), soluble starch synthase (SS), starch branching enzyme (BE), and starch debranching enzyme (DBE), whereas amylose is synthesized by AGPase and granule-bound starch synthase (GBSS). It is highly possible that plastidial starch phosphorylase (Pho1) plays an important role in the formation of primers for starch biosynthesis in the endosperm. Recent advances in our understanding of the functions of individual enzyme isoforms have provided new insights into how linear polymer chains and branch linkages are synthesized in cereals. In particular, genetic analyses of a suite of mutants have formed the basis of a new model outlining the role of various enzyme isoforms in cereal starch production. In our current review, we summarize the recent research findings related to starch biosynthesis in cereal endosperm, with a particular focus on rice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Edible Grain / enzymology*
  • Edible Grain / genetics
  • Endosperm / enzymology*
  • Endosperm / genetics
  • Enzymes / genetics
  • Enzymes / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Genes, Plant*
  • Oryza / enzymology
  • Oryza / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Starch / biosynthesis*
  • Starch / genetics


  • Enzymes
  • Plant Proteins
  • Starch