Pigments of Rubrobacter radiotolerans

T. Saito, H. Terato, O. Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


The highly radioresistant Rubrobacter radiotolerans, contains red pigments. Since the pigments could not be extracted by usual methods, a new method was developed in which the pigments were extracted with organic solvents after addition of 10 N KOH to the intact cells, followed by neutralization. These pigments were also extracted after treatment with achromopeptidase, but not with lysozyme. The extracted pigments separated into two main spots by TLC (48.6% and 22.6%), and were confirmed to be carotenoids by chemical tests. The two major pigments had 13 conjugated double bonds as determined from the main maximum wavelength of the light absorption spectra. Their molecular weights were determined to be 740 and 722 by mass spectrometry. The mass spectra of their TMS-derivatives revealed that they contained four and three tertiary OH groups, respectively. Confirming their identical light and IR spectra, these pigments were determined to be bacterioruberin and monoanhydrobacterioruberin, respectively, the characteristic carotenoids of halophilic bacteria. The existence of these pigments in bacteria other than halobacteria provides interesting new evidence on the distribution of these compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-421
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Microbiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacterioruberin
  • Carotenoid
  • Radiotolerance
  • Red pigment
  • Rubrobacter radiotolerans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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