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The New Carotenoid Pigment Moraxanthin Is Associated with Toxic Microalgae

Author(s): Olga Mangoni | Concetta Imperatore | Carmelo R. Tomas | Valeria Costantino | Vincenzo Saggiomo | Alfonso Mangoni

Journal: Marine Drugs
ISSN 1660-3397

Volume: 9;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 242;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Chattonella cf. verruculosa | Raphidophyceae | toxic algae | carotenoids | moraxanthin

The new pigment “moraxanthin” was found in natural samples from a fish mortality site in the Inland Bays of Delaware, USA. Pure cultures of the species, tentatively named Chattonella cf. verruculosa, and natural samples contained this pigment as a dominant carotenoid. The pigment, obtained from a 10 L culture of C. cf. verruculosa, was isolated and harvested by HPLC and its structure determined from MS and 1D- and 2D-NMR. The data identified this pigment as a new acylated form of vaucheriaxanthin called moraxanthin after the berry like algal cell. Its presence in pure cultures and in natural bloom samples indicates that moraxanthin is specific to C. cf. verruculosa and can be used as a marker of its presence when HPLC is used to analyze natural blooms samples.
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