Pink- and orange-pigmented Planctomycetes produce saproxanthin-type carotenoids including a rare C45 carotenoid
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SourceEnvironmental Microbiology Reports, 11, 6, (2019), pp. 741-748
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Environmental Microbiology Reports
Summary Planctomycetes are ubiquitous and environmentally important Gram-negative aquatic bacteria with key roles in global carbon and nitrogen cycles. Many planctomycetal species have a pink or orange colour and have been suggested to produce carotenoids. Potential applications as food colorants or anti-oxidants have been proposed. Hitherto, the planctomycetal metabolism is largely unexplored and the strain pigmentation has not been explored. For a holistic view of the complex planctomycetal physiology, we analysed carotenoid profiles of the pink-pigmented strain Rhodopirellula rubra LF2T and of the orange strain Rubinisphaera brasiliensis Gr7. During LC?MS/MS analysis of culture extracts, we could identify three saproxanthin-type carotenoids including a rare C45 carotenoid. These compounds, saproxanthin, dehydroflexixanthin and 2?-isopentenyldehydrosaproxanthin, derive from the common carotenoid precursor lycopene and are characterized by related end groups, namely a 3-hydroxylated ?-carotene-like cyclohexene ring as one end group and simple hydration on the other end of the molecule. Based on the observed molecule structure we present putative pathways for their biosynthesis. Results support Planctomycetes as a promising, yet mostly untapped source of carotenoids.
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