Alpha Glucose vs. Beta Glucose
State of glucose
Composition in plants
Alpha Glucose vs. Beta Glucose
In alpha glucose –OH group is present on the same side where the –CH2OH group is present, while in the case of beta glucose –OH group is present on the opposite side to the –CH2OH group. Alpha glucose is not stable on the other side beta glucose is more stable. Chains of alpha glucose are made up of starch while the chains of beta glucose are made up of cellulose. The melting point of the alpha glucose is 146-degree Celsius whereas the melting point of the beta glucose is 150-degree Celsius.
Alpha glucose can easily be broken down into simpler sugar molecules while beta glucose cannot easily be broken down into simpler sugar molecules. On crystallization alpha glucose form the alpha glucopyranose in an aqueous solution while beta glucose forms the crystals known as either beta glucopyranose or beta glucopyranose hydrate from aqueous solution. Alpha glucose forms the tasty parts of the plants while beta glucose forms the hard part of the plants. Alpha glucose forms the starch whereas beta glucose forms the cellulose.
What is Alpha Glucose?
Alpha Glucose is that isomer of D-glucose in which the –OH group of the first carbon atom is present on the same side as the –CH2OH group is present. Alpha glucose is also sugar. In its chair conformation structure, alpha glucose is a cyclic structure by having four –OH groups that are attached to the central carbon chain. This cycle is formed via an oxygen bridge. This shows that two carbon atoms of the main carbon chain are attached via an oxygen atom. The ring structure of alpha glucose is not planar but in 3D form.
To avoid any confusion, the chair conformation of D-glucose is known as glucopyranose. Therefore, alpha glucose is also called alpha glucopyranose. The melting point of alpha glucose is approximately 1460c. Alpha glucose can easily be crystallized from its aqueous solution. The solid crystals of alpha glucose appear as white crystals. The chair conformation of alpha glucose exhibit four chiral carbon atoms which are C2, C3, C4, and C5.
Thus, alpha glucose is considered highly optical active. Alpha glucose performs as the building block of starch. Chains of alpha glucose compose the starch. Therefore, the foundation of starch is alpha glucose molecules as they can be easily broken down into simpler sugar molecules.
What is Beta Glucose?
Beta glucose is that isomer of D-glucose in which the –OH group of the first carbon atom is present on the opposite side of the –CH2OH group. Beta Glucose is also sugar, like alpha glucose. It has four –OH groups that are attached to the central carbon chain. Beta glucose is also known as beta glucopyranose. It has a cyclic structure as it has four chiral carbon atoms, the same as in alpha glucose. Therefore, beta glucose is also known as highly optically active.
The melting point of beta glucose is approximately 1500C. It can be crystallized from its aqueous solution, and its crystals are of white color and known as the beta glucopyranose or beta glucopyranose hydrate form. The polymerization of beta glucose may result in cellulose. The Chains of beta glucose form the cellulose. Unlike starch, cellulose is not so easy to break down, therefore it is a perfect building material. For example, the hard part of all plants is composed of cellulose.
Cellulose is, of course, an important component in our body system as cellulose is also known as fiber. Fiber plays an essential role in the digestive system. There are some animals that can digest cellulose, for example, livestock animals such as horses, and cows. Termites can also break down the strong and structural form of cellulose.