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Mar. Drugs 2011, 9(2), 242-255; doi:10.3390/md9020242

The New Carotenoid Pigment Moraxanthin Is Associated with Toxic Microalgae

1 Dipartimento delle Scienze Biologiche, Università di Napoli Federico II, Via Mezzocannone 8, 80134 Napoli, Italy 2 Dipartimento di Chimica delle Sostanze Naturali, Università di Napoli Federico II, via D. Montesano 49, 80131 Napoli, Italy 3 Center for Marine Science, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, 5600 Marvin K. Moss Lane, Wilmington, NC 28409, USA 4 Stazione Zoologica "A. Dohrn", Villa Comunale I, 80121 Napoli, Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 December 2010 / Revised: 25 January 2011 / Accepted: 4 February 2011 / Published: 10 February 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Carotenoids)
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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.
Keywords: Chattonella cf. verruculosa; Raphidophyceae; toxic algae; carotenoids; moraxanthin Chattonella cf. verruculosa; Raphidophyceae; toxic algae; carotenoids; moraxanthin
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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Mangoni, O.; Imperatore, C.; Tomas, C.R.; Costantino, V.; Saggiomo, V.; Mangoni, A. The New Carotenoid Pigment Moraxanthin Is Associated with Toxic Microalgae. Mar. Drugs 2011, 9, 242-255.

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