Separation and Identification of Chromatophore Pigments in the Skin of the Cephalopod Loligo Pealei

Report No. ARL-TR-5921
Authors: Sanchao Liu, George Bell, Alan Kuzirian, and Eric Forsythe
Date/Pages: February 2012; 24 pages
Abstract: The chromatophore pigments in the skin of cephalopod Loligo pealei were separated either by density gradient centrifugation or solvent extraction. Yellow pigments could be separated by 85% EtOH solvent extraction or density gradient centrifugation, but it was hard to separate red pigments from brown pigments. The absorption spectra, solubility, chromatographic behavior and redox behavior of the pigments were studied. The preliminary results show that the pigments belong to ommochromes. EDS study shows that the pigments contain the elements of C, O, N, S. No metal is found in the pigments. HPLC/MS and electrophoresis results indicate that the pigments are small organic molecules that are not attached to proteins. One of the pigments was identified as hydroxanthommatin, a reduced form of xanthommatin, which is a yellow-brown pigment.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: February 1, 2012