Starch – University of Copenhagen

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Plant and Environmental Sciences > Research > Plant Glycobiology > Starch


Our group focuses on starch science and technology with focus on starch phosphorylation. The redox state in the plant activates and inhibits enzymes in biosynthesis and degradation. Starch is a very capable energy deposit and we generate designer starch in transgenic plants and molecular models by chemical synthesis to understand how its well-organized packing is compromised by efficient bioavailability. Starch is the major food for most organisms and we investigate the interaction of starch with environmental enzymes to design healthy foods and biomaterials, efficient enzymes and more robust and high yielding starch crops.


Selected publications

  • Shaik, SS, Obata, T, Hebelstrup, KH, Fernie, AR, Mateiu, RV, Blennow, A. (2016) Alterations in starch branching enzyme and glucan water dikinase: Effects on grain physiology and metabolism. PLoS ONE 11(2): e0149613.
  • Hebelstrup KH, Sagnelli, D, Blennow A (2015) The future of starch bioengineering: GM microorganisms or GM plants? Frontiers Plant Sci. 6, 247
  • Blennow, A., Jensen, S.L., Shaik, S.S., Skryhan, K., Carciofi, M., Holm, P.B., Hebelstrup, K.H., and Tanackovic, V. (2013) Future cereal starch bioengineering — Cereal ancestors encounter gene-tech and designer enzymes. Cereal Chem. 90 (4), 274–287.
  • Blennow, A. and Engelsen, S.B. (2010) Helix-breaking news: fighting crystalline starch energy deposits in the cell. Trends Plant Sci. 15/4, 236-240
  • Damager, I., Engelsen, S.B., Blennow, A., Møller, B.L., and Motawia, S.M. (2010) First principles insight into starch-like a-glucans: their synthesis, conformation and hydration. Chem. Rev. 110, 2049-80.
  • Sagnelli D, Hebelstrup; KH, Leroy E, Rolland-Sabate A, Guilois S, Kirkensgaard JJK, Mortensen K, Lourdin D Blennow A (2016) Plant-crafted starches for bioplastics production. Carbohydr. Polym. 152, 398-408
  • Knudsen A., van Zanten G.C., Jensen, S.L., Forssten, S.D., Saarinen, M., Lahtinen, S.J., Bandsholm, O., Svensson, B., Jespersen, L. and Blennow, A. (2012) Comparative fermentation of  insoluble carbohydrates in an in vitro human faeces model spiked with L. acidophilus NCFM Starch/Starke 65, 346-353.