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Blue Luminescence of Ripening Bananas

Authors

  • Simone Moser,

    1. Institute of Organic Chemistry and Centre of Molecular Biosciences (CMBI), University of Innsbruck, Innrain 52a, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria, Fax: (+43) 512-507-2892
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  • Thomas Müller Dr.,

    1. Institute of Organic Chemistry and Centre of Molecular Biosciences (CMBI), University of Innsbruck, Innrain 52a, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria, Fax: (+43) 512-507-2892
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  • Marc-Olivier Ebert Dr.,

    1. Institute of Organic Chemistry and Centre of Molecular Biosciences (CMBI), University of Innsbruck, Innrain 52a, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria, Fax: (+43) 512-507-2892
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  • Steffen Jockusch Dr.,

    1. Department of Chemistry, Columbia University, New York, 3000 Broadway, MC 3119, New York, NY 10027 (USA)
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  • Nicholas J. Turro Prof. Dr.,

    1. Department of Chemistry, Columbia University, New York, 3000 Broadway, MC 3119, New York, NY 10027 (USA)
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  • Bernhard Kräutler Prof. Dr.

    1. Institute of Organic Chemistry and Centre of Molecular Biosciences (CMBI), University of Innsbruck, Innrain 52a, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria, Fax: (+43) 512-507-2892
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  • We thank Georg Kontaxis and Robert Konrat (Max Perutz Laboratories, Vienna) for heteronuclear NMR measurements. Our work was supported by the National Science Foundation of Austria (FWF P-19596) and the National Science Foundation of the USA (NSF-CHE-04-15516, NSF-CHE-07-17518).

Abstract

original image

Yes, we have blue bananas! Ripening bananas exhibit intense blue luminescence under UV light. Their luminescence arises from fluorescent chlorophyll catabolites which accumulate in the banana peels during ripening; their natural further conversion into nonfluorescent catabolites is specifically inhibited by a previously unrecognized chemical modification.

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