Biopigments: Fungal Pigments

  • Sharmila Tirumale
  • Nazir Ahmad Wani


Synthetic dyes are frequently used in different fields such as for food industry, paper and agricultural industry and science and technology. But due to the adverse toxicological side effects of synthetic pigments used in the industries, now research is focused on the products from natural resources. Microbial compounds are natural-coloured substances produced by microorganisms, especially fungi and bacteria. Biopigments from natural resources can replace the synthetic dyes used in pharma industries. Most of the microbes reported to produce carotenoids belong to Myxococcus spp. Other organisms include spp. of Serratia, Streptomyces and Agrobacterium. The red-coloured basidiomycetous yeast Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous, green alga Haematococcus Pluvialis and Agrobacterium aurantiacum are known to produce astaxanthin, an orange-red pigment. Other organisms such as Serratia marcescens, Vibrio psychoerythrus, Rugamonas rubra, Streptoverticillium rubrireticuli and other eubacteria produce prodigiosin, a red pigment used in various applications. Astaxanthin from Xanthophyllomyces sp., arpink red from Penicillium sp. and riboflavin from Ashbya sp. and pigments from Monascus spp. are used in many food industries. Other pigment-producing fungi are chaetomium cupreum, Penicillium aculeatum, Fusarium chlamydosporum, etc. Fungi produce an interesting class of pigmented secondary metabolites, called azaphilones. Recently many pharmaceutical industries are using microbial pigments in their products. Microbial pigments produced by pharmaceutical industry may act as antibiotics, anticancer, antiproliferative and immunosuppressive compounds.


Fungi Pigments 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sharmila Tirumale
    • 1
  • Nazir Ahmad Wani
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and BiotechnologyBangalore UniversityBenguluruIndia

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