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Coelenterates

Chapter

Abstract

The fact that hydra tend to retain the pigments of their food was known as long ago as 1744 [2] but only in the early part of this century were they recognized by histochemical studies to be carotenoid in nature [3, 4, 5]. Later a pigment with an absorption spectrum similar to that of astaxanthin (1.1) was observed in Hydra littoralis [6, 7]. In laboratory-grown specimens of the same polyp fed on Artemia salina the main pigment (92.4%) was canthaxanthin (1.4). [This is also the main pigment of A. salina (see Chapter 6).] Small amounts of echinenone (1.11) and 4-keto-4′-hydroxy-β-carotene together with traces of unidentified xanthophylls were also present [8]. H. attenuata, H. circumcinta and H. fusca fed on A. salina and lake plankton accumulated astaxanthin esters as well as canthaxanthin and unidentified pigments [9], whilst H. vulgaris fed on Cerrodaphnia reticulata maintained on Chlorella vulgaris contained astaxanthin, both free and esterified, canthaxanthin and pirardixanthin [8]. The last-named pigment is a carotenoid of unknown structure which, together with hydroxy and keto derivatives, makes up some 62% of the total pigment in H. pirardi-fed A. salina [8]; small amounts of canthaxanthin were also present. Chlorohydra viridissima, which looks colourless when grown on a diet of A. salina, yields small amounts of canthaxanthin on extraction (less than 2% of that in Hydra littoralis) [8].

Keywords

Total Pigment Major Pigment Ring Contraction Main Pigment Keto Derivative 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© T. W. Goodwin 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LiverpoolUK

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