Letter | Published:

Prodigiosin in an Actinomycete

Naturevolume 191pages7778 (1961) | Download Citation



PRODIGIOSIN, the bright red pigment produced by organisms of the genus Serratia, is among the more conspicuous pigments extant in the microbial world. The chemical nature of prodigiosin has been the subject of extensive study and was defined as a tri-pyrrylmethene by Wrede and Rothhaas in 19341. Subsequent work has demonstrated that the pigment is actually composed of a number of separable components rather than the single entity supposed by earlier workers1. Although prodigiosin has been studied predominantly in the genus Serratia, the possible presence of the pigment in an actinomycete has been reported2. In the course of our isolating vast quantities of actinomycetes from soils collected throughout the world, a small number of orange-red pigmented Streptomyces were observed. This communication is concerned with the identification of the pigment produced by these actinomycetes as identical to that produced by Serratia marcescens.

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  1. 1

    Wrede, F., and Rothhaas, A., Hoppe-Seyl. Z., 226, 95 (1934).

  2. 2

    Dietzel, E., Naturwiss., 35, 345 (1948).

  3. 3

    Williams, R. P., Green, J. A., and Rappoport, D. A., J. Bact., 71, 115 (1956).

  4. 4

    Rappoport, D. A., Calvert, C. R., Loeffler, R. K., and Gast, J. H., Anal. Chem., 27, 820 (1955).

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  1. Kitchawan Research Laboratory, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Ossining, New York



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