• Starch granule;
  • Sorghum;
  • Starch digestibility


Various factors, including starch granule channels, have been suggested to contribute to the control of sorghum starch digestibility for animal feed. Isolated starch from two normal sorghum lines (P721N, IS6986) and one high protein digestibility (HPD) mutant line (111) that differed in starch granule morphology were selected to study the influence of these factors on starch digestibility. Scanning electron micrographs were taken of raw and digested starches. Microscopy results confirmed that in all three sorghum lines channels in starch granules are the main route of enzyme penetration and the central cavity area is the starting point of enzyme digestion. Channel density was more pronounced in the HPD sorghum mutant line than in normal lines, which may have been responsible for its relatively high digestibility. Micrographs of IS6986 showed unique starch granule morphology with a collapsed ”doughnut-shaped” structure in a portion of the granules. These unusual granules were rapidly digested and, unlike normal spherical granules, totally disappeared after 30 min of digestion. Amylases appeared to have fast access to the collapsed-appearing starch granules. Digestion profiles, following incubation with pepsin and α-amylase, showed that IS6986 and the HPD mutant (111) had the highest initial rate of starch digestion, followed by P721N. These findings provide insight as to how new sorghum cultivars might be developed with high starch digestibility for animal feed use.