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Chapter 31 : Testing for Amylase Activity

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Testing for Amylase Activity, Page 1 of 2

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Abstract:

All organisms that use starch for energy make enzymes that convert it back into glucose molecules. One of these enzymes is amylase, which breaks the chemical linkages between glucose molecules by inserting a water molecule into the bond, a process known as hydrolysis. Humans secrete amylase in their saliva, so conversion of starch to glucose begins as soon as starch enters the mouth. Besides being important for energy production in plants and animals, amylase is an important industrial enzyme. In fact, one of the most common industrial uses of enzymes today involves amylase. Amylase activity can be easily detected by following the hydrolysis of starch. The presence of starch can be detected with iodine. Because of the bond angles between glucose residues in starch, starch molecules assume a helical form. Iodine molecules nestle inside the coils of the helix, forming a complex that has a dark-blue color.

Citation: Kreuzer H, Massey A. 2008. Testing for Amylase Activity, p 310-314. In Molecular Biology and Biotechnology: A Guide for Students, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817480_ch31

Key Concept Ranking

Baker's Yeast
0.4128723
Industrial Enzymes
0.40042368
0.4128723
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Figures

Image of Figure 31.1
Figure 31.1

(A) The sugar glucose. The corners of the hexagon are carbon atoms. (B) Starch. Starch is a polymer of glucose. In this representation, only the hexagons and the linking oxygen atoms are shown. (C) Hydrolysis of starch. When starch is hydrolyzed, a water molecule splits the bond linking two glucose residues. Complete hydrolysis of starch yields glucose.

Citation: Kreuzer H, Massey A. 2008. Testing for Amylase Activity, p 310-314. In Molecular Biology and Biotechnology: A Guide for Students, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817480_ch31
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Image of Figure 31.2
Figure 31.2

The starch-iodine complex. A stylized sketch of the helical starch molecule is shown on the left. On the right, two molecules of iodine (I, represented by the dumbbell shapes) nestle inside the helix. Six turns of the helix are required to produce a blue color.

Citation: Kreuzer H, Massey A. 2008. Testing for Amylase Activity, p 310-314. In Molecular Biology and Biotechnology: A Guide for Students, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817480_ch31
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References

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Tables

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Table 31.1

Industrial uses of amylase

Citation: Kreuzer H, Massey A. 2008. Testing for Amylase Activity, p 310-314. In Molecular Biology and Biotechnology: A Guide for Students, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817480_ch31

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