Morphological variations of starch grains

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Citations (Scopus)


Starch is synthesized in plant storage organs and forms transparent grains inside cells, which are referred to as starch granules or starch grains (SGs). SGs exhibit different morphologies and sizes depending on the species and are prominent in Poaceae endosperm. Comprehensive observations indicate that SG morphologies can be classified into four types: compound grains, bimodal simple grains, uniform simple grains, and a mixed configuration containing compound and simple grains in the same cells. Phylogenetic evaluation of SG morphological diversity indicates that the compound grain type is the ancestral SG morphology in Poaceae, and the bimodal simple grain type is only observed in specific phylogenetic groups that include barley and wheat. Starch morphology and size are important characteristics for industrial applications. However, the molecular mechanisms that determine SG morphology and size are not completely understood. This review summarizes starch grain morphological characteristics and phylogenetic information about SG morphological diversity. It also discusses methods for cytological observation of SGs and recently identified genes that control SG size.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStarch
Subtitle of host publicationMetabolism and Structure
PublisherSpringer Japan
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9784431554950
ISBN (Print)9784431554943
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Cereal
  • Diversity
  • Endosperm
  • Mutant
  • Starch grain
  • Voronoi diagram

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Engineering(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Morphological variations of starch grains'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this