Carotenoids were isolated from the cells of Rhodobium marinum, and their structures were determined by mass spectrometry and 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy; the carotenoids include lycopene, rhodopin, anhydrorhodovibrin, rhodovibrin and spirilloxanthin. Time-dependent changes in the carotenoid composition in the reaction center (RC) and the light-harvesting complex 1 (LH1) were traced by high-performance liquid chromatography analysis of the extracts. The carotenoid composition changed according to the spirilloxanthin biosynthetic pathway. However, spirilloxanthin having the longest conjugated chain was always preferentially bound to the RC, and anhydrorhodovibrin and other precursors to the LH1.
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Vol. 74 • No. 3