Letter | Published:

Identity of the C50-Carotenoid Dehydrogenans-P439 and Sarcinaxanthin

Naturevolume 214pages379380 (1967) | Download Citation



A UNIQUE C50-carotenoid has been isolated from the Gram-positive bacterium, Flavobacterium dehydrogenans Arnaudi1, and the compound partially characterized2,3. Subsequent investigations have revealed that the carotenoid, designated dehydrogenans-P439, commonly occurs in pigmented Gram-positive bacteria4. The carotenoid sarcinaxanthin, originally obtained from the bacterium Sarcina lutea, has previously been characterized only from its melting point, electronic spectra in various solvents, partition behaviour and adsorptive property5. These and subsequent data5,6 showed a neurosporene-like absorption spectrum but a more polar behaviour than neurosporene, and a number of investigators have used these very general properties to claim the presence of sarcinaxanthin in algae7 and bacteria other than Sarcina8,9. Dehydrogenans-P439 has the general characteristics of sarcinaxanthin10 and the comparative investigation reported here has shown the two carotenoids are identical.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Weeks, O. B., Thomas, D. M., and Schell, D., Bacteriol. Proc., 54 (1963).

  2. 2

    Liaaen-Jensen, S., and Weeks, O. B., Norw. J. Chem. Mining and Metal., 26, 130 (1966).

  3. 3

    Weeks, O. B., and Garner, R. J., Arch. Biochem. Biophys. (in the press).

  4. 4

    Weeks, O. B., Hester, D. J., and Garner, R. J., Bacterial. Proc. (in the press).

  5. 5

    Takeda, Y., and Ohta, T., Hoppe-Seylers Z., 268, 1 (1941).

  6. 6

    Hodgkiss, W., Liston, J., Goodwin, T. W., and Jamikorn, M., J. Gen. Microbiol., 11, 438 (1954).

  7. 7

    Iwata, I., Nakata, H., and Sakurai, Y., Agr. Biol. Chem., 25, 377 (1961).

  8. 8

    Ohta, T., Miyazaki, T., and Ninomiya, T., Chem. Pharm. Bull. (Tokyo), 7, 254 (1959).

  9. 9

    Sobin, B., and Stahly, G. L., J. Bacteriol., 44, 265 (1942).

  10. 10

    Kuhn, R., and Sorensen, N. A., Ber., 71, 1879 (1938).

  11. 11

    Nakagava, K., Konata, R., and Nakata, T., J. Org. Chem., 27, 1597 (1962).

  12. 12

    Liaaen-Jensen, S., and Hertzberg, S., Acta Chem. Scand., 20, 1703 (1966).

  13. 13

    Blessin, C. W., Cereal Chem., 39, 236 (1962).

  14. 14

    Liaaen-Jensen, S., Kgl. Norske Videnskab. Selskabs Skrifter, No. 8 (1962).

  15. 15

    Jensen, A., and Liaaen-Jensen, S., Acta Chem. Scand., 13, 1963 (1959).

  16. 16

    Karrer, P., and Eugster, C., Helv. Chim. Acta, 34, 28 (1951).

  17. 17

    Isler, O., Montavon, M., Rüegg, R., and Zeller, P., Ann., 603, 129 (1957).

Download references

Author information


  1. Organic Chemistry Laboratories, Norway Institute of Technology, Trondheim, Norway

  2. Research Center and Department of Biology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico

    • O. B. WEEKS
  3. Department of Biochemistry, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Scotland

    • R. H. C. STRANG
    •  & D. THIRKELL


  1. Search for S. LIAAEN-JENSEN in:

  2. Search for O. B. WEEKS in:

  3. Search for R. H. C. STRANG in:

  4. Search for D. THIRKELL in:

About this article

Publication history



Issue Date




By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.