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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Carotenoid pigments of facultatively anaerobic spirochetes.

Carotenoid pigments were purified from a previously undescribed, red, halophilic spirochete (spirochete RS1), and from Spirochaeta aurantia strain J1. Both spirochetes are facultative anaerobes and produce pigments when growing aerobically. The major pigments of the two spirochetes were identified by means of chromatographic analysis, absorption spectroscopy, hydride reduction, acetylation and silylation experiments, and mass spectrometry. It was concluded that the major pigment from spirochete RS1 was 4-keto-1',2'-dihydro-1'-hydroxytorulene. This conclusion was further supported by infrared spectroscopy and additional analytical data. The evidence showed that the major pigment from S. aurantia was 1',2'-dihydro-1'-hydroxytorulene. Chromatographic and spectrophotometric evidence indicated that this pigment was also present, as a minor carotenoid component, in spirochete RS1. These pigments have been previously detected almost exclusively in gliding bacteria, such as species of Flexibacter, Stigmatella, and Myxococcus. The occurrence of 4-keto-1',2'-dihydro-1'-hydroxytorulene and 1',2'-dihydro-1'-hydroxytorulene in both spirochetes and gliding bacteria may have significance with respect to the evolutionary development of these organisms.[1]


  1. Carotenoid pigments of facultatively anaerobic spirochetes. Greenberg, E.P., Canale-Parola, E. J. Bacteriol. (1975) [Pubmed]
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