Aromatic Tanning in the Myriapod Cuticle


BROWN1 has found that the precursor of the quinone responsible for the tanning of certain structures in Mytilus and of the egg capsule in Fasciola is probably an amino-acid or protein, in contrast to the alcohol-soluble phenol operative in the cockroach ootheca and the insect cuticle2,3,4. He suggests that the tanning mechanism may have evolved from a type where the phenolic hydroxyl groups of tyrosine become oxidized to the quinone without removal of the side-chains. It is therefore interesting to find, in myriapods, evidence which appears to indicate the retention of this suggested original mechanism of tanning.

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BLOWER, G. Aromatic Tanning in the Myriapod Cuticle. Nature 165, 569 (1950).

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