Starch Measurement in Plant Tissue Using Enzymatic Hydrolysis

Authors

  • BRUCE E. HAISSIG,

    1. USDA-Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station, Forestry Sciences Laboratory, Box 898, Rhinelander, Wisconsin 54501, U.S.A.
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  • RICHARD E. DICKSON

    1. USDA-Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station, Forestry Sciences Laboratory, Box 898, Rhinelander, Wisconsin 54501, U.S.A.
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  • We thank Dr. Robert E. Farmer, Jr., for supplying some of the red oak root tissue, and Miles Laboratories for supplying Diazyme and Clarase. Mr. Kenneth Hansen and Mr. Gary Garton provided excellent technical support.

  • Mention of trade names does not constitute endorsement of products by the USDA, Forest Service.

Abstract

This work explored completeness of starch hydrolysis in situ in relation to degree of gelatinization, starch content of tissue, evailable enzyme activity, and time allowed for hydrolysis. Maximum hydrolysis of starch in lyophilized red oak (Quercus rubra L.) root tissue with purified Diazyme (amyloglucosidase) or Clarase (Takadiastase) required high enzyme activity (2.4 U Diazyme or 48 U Clarase per mg starch). Results suggested that at least 70 U Clarase or 5 U Diazyme should be used per mg starch in routine analyses. Neither prolonging gelatinization (more than 15 min) nor hydrolysis (more than 24 to 48 lh) offset inadequate starch hydrolysis caused by insufficient enzyme activity. Starch was completely hydrolyzed in situ after 48 h without gelatinization by 5 U of Diazyme per mg starch. Tissue weight (5 to 100 mg) had no effect on starch hydrolysis by sufficient enzyme. Methanol: chloroform: water (12:5:3 by volume) freed tissues of solubles before starch hydrolysis. No interference with the glucose oxidase analysis of hydrolysates was encountered. In addition, the pigment free methanol–water fractions (soluble sugars, amino acids, organic acids) and chloroform fractions (lipids and pigments) were available or further analysis. Results obtained with red oak were verified with issue from other species such as jack pine (Pinus banksiana lamb.) and white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss). The resulting technique simply and reliably measured less than 5% starch in 5 mg lyophilized tissue, with a minimum of sample manipulation.

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