Difference WikiChemistry

Difference Between Alpha Amylase and Beta Amylase

Main Difference

The main difference between Alpha Amylase and Beta Amylase is that the Alpha Amylase is the digestive enzyme, whereas the Beta Amylase is the fruit ripening and seed germinating enzyme.

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Alpha Amylase vs. Beta Amylase

Alpha amylase is the carbohydrate digesting enzyme; on the other hand, beta amylase is the fruit ripening and seed germinating enzyme. Alpha amylase is abundantly present in animals; on the flip side, beta amylase is abundantly present in plants. The mammalian digestive system secretes alpha amylase; on the opposite side, beta amylase is secreted by the plants, fungi, and bacterial cells or by the animal cells.

Alpha amylase is also known as 1,4-α-D- glucan glucanohydrolase and glycogenase; on the other hand, beta amylase is also known as the 1,4-α-D- glucan maltohydrolase, glycogenase or saccharogen. The EC number of alpha amylase is 3.2.1.1; on the other hand, the EC number of beta amylase is 3.2.1.2. The optimum pH of alpha amylase is 6.7 to 7; on the flip side, the optimum pH of beta amylase is 4 to 5.

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Alpha amylase mainly acts anywhere on the substrate; on the other side of the coin, beta amylase mainly acts on the non-reducing end and causes the lysis of the glycosidic bond. The action of alpha amylase is faster than the beta amylase; on the other hand, the action of beta amylase is slower than the alpha amylase.

Alpha amylase is insensitive to environmental conditions like high temperature and heavy metal ions, but it is inactivated at low pH; beta amylase is very sensitive to the environmental conditions like the temperature and heavy metal ions, and usually remain stable at low pH.

Comparison Chart

Alpha AmylaseBeta Amylase
It the digesting enzyme produced by the mammalian digestive systemIt is the fruit ripening and seed germinating enzyme mainly produced by the plant cells.
EC Number
The EC number is 3.2.1.1The EC number is 3.2.1.2
Production
The animal digestive system produces itIt produced by fungi, bacteria, plants, and some animal cells.
Calcium Dependent
Calcium is essentialCalcium is not necessary
Optimum PH
Its optimum pH is 6.7 to 7Its optimum pH is 4 to 5
Action Site
It acts anywhere on the substrateIt acts on the non-reducing end of the substrate
Action Speed
Faster than the beta amylaseSlower than the alpha amylase
Sensitivity
It is insensitive to high temperature and heavy metal ionsIt is very sensitive to high temperature, heat, and heavy metal ions
At Low PH
Alpha amylase is inactive at low pHBeta amylase is active at low pH
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What is Alpha Amylase?

Alpha amylase generally used as the main digestive enzyme of the animal body. Its main function is in the digestive system of mammals. It is also known as the glycogenase. Its concentration is very high in the saliva for the partial digestion of carbohydrates that enter the digestive system of the mammalian body.

The EC number of alpha amylase is 3.2.1.1. The optimal pH of the alpha amylase is 6.7 to 7. It means that the alpha amylase will remain inactive at the low pH concentration. The amount of calcium is essential in the function of alpha amylase. The main function is the conversion of long-chain molecules of carbohydrates into smaller molecules like maltotriose and maltose.

Alpha amylase is very effective and fast in function as it is insensitive to the high temperature and concentration of heavy metal ions. Each enzyme is specific for its action on the substrate, but the alpha amylase can perform its action anywhere on the substrate.

What is Beta Amylase?

Beta amylase generally used as the fruit ripening and germinating seed enzyme in the plant body. Its main functions are well in the plant, bacterial, fungi, and some animal cells. It is also known as saccharogen. Its concentration is high in plant cells. It also involves in the plant and fruit development.

The EC number of beta amylase is 3.2.1.2. The optimum pH of beta amylase is 4 to 5. It means beta amylase will be effective and active in low pH concentration. Not all animals generally involved in beta amylase production. The amount of concentration is not essential in its function, but it may be required. Beta amylase can cause the destruction or breakdown of starch into maltose, which causes the ripening and sweet flavor of fruits.

Beta amylase is less effective and very slow in its action. Each enzyme is specific in its action on the substrate. The same beta amylase mainly acts on the non-reducing ends that cause the breakdown of second glycosidic bonds. Beta amylase is very sensitive to high temperature, heat, and heavy metal ions.

Key Differences

  1. Alpha amylase is also known as glycogenase; on the other hand, beta amylase, also known as saccharogen.
  2. Alpha amylase is secreted by the mammalian digestive cells; on the flip side, beta amylase is secreted by the fungi, bacteria, plant, and also in some animal cells.
  3. The speed of action of alpha amylase is faster as compared to the beta amylase; on the opposite side, the speed of action of beta amylase is very slow as compared to the alpha amylase.
  4. Alpha amylase can act anywhere on the substrate; on the other side of the coin, beta amylase mainly acts on the non-reducing end, which causes the hydrolysis of the second glycosidic bond.
  5. Alpha amylase is inactive at low pH; on the other hand, beta amylase is active at low pH.
  6. Alpha amylase is mainly unaffected to high temperature and heavy metal ions concentration; on the flip side, beta amylase is very sensitive to the high temperature and heavy metal ions concentration.
  7. The optimum pH of alpha amylase is 6.7 to 7; on the opposite side, the optimum pH of beta amylase is 4 to 5.
  8. In alpha amylase function, calcium is essential; on the other side of the coin, in beta amylase function, calcium is not very necessary.
  9. The EC number of alpha amylase is 3.2.1.1; on the other hand, the EC number of beta amylase is 3.2.1.2.

Conclusion

The above discussion concludes that alpha amylase is the enzyme of carbohydrate digestion; on the other hand, beta amylase is the enzyme of fruit ripening and seed germination.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss