CAROTENOID PIGMENTS IN THE INTEGUMENT OF THE STARFISH MARTHASTERIAS GLACIALIS (L)

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Summary.

  • 1The carotenoids of the aboral integument of Marthasterias glacialis were separated by phase partition and chromatography. Their light absorption was examined spectrophotometrically.
  • 2Eight fractions were isolated, three epiphasic and five hypophasic. The epiphasic fractions were identified as β-carotene, esterified astaxanthin and a pigment with a single absorption maximum at 451/52 mμ. (in n-hexane) which was probably a keto-carotenoid. The hypophasic pigments were lutein, free astaxanthin and three fractions which were not identified, but whose chromatographic behaviour and light absorption suggest that they might be derivatives of astaxanthin.
  • 3No vitamin A was found.
  • 4The results are discussed in relation to the distribution of carotenoid pigments and photosensitivity among starfishes.

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