The Comparative Biochemistry of Darter Chromoprotein Pigments
Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
Brady A. Porter
Charles T. Dameron
David J. Lampe
biochromes, chromoproteins, darter, Etheostoma, zoochromes
Recent studies reveal the blue and green colorations found in the integument of many Percid fish called darters (genus Etheostoma) represent true pigments; apparently a novel type of vertebrate coloration. A comparative study to biochemically characterize the blue integumental pigment of the rainbow darter, Etheostoma caeruleum, and the green integumental pigment in the greenside darter, Etheostoma blennioides, is described. Both the pigments are extractable from their integument in aqueous solutions which indicates that they are not structural but true pigmentary colors. UV-Visible spectrometry, Proteinase K degradation experiments, and amino acid analysis confirm that both pigments are types of chromoproteins. Although both pigments are closely related, they appear to exhibit structural differences in molecular weight, banding pattern revealed via SDS-PAGE, and chromophore/protein association. Furthermore, these pigments appear to lack a metallic chrome and do not appear to be carotenoproteins. Their strong fluorescent qualities indicate they could be a type of flavoprotein.
Pearsall II, R. (2005). The Comparative Biochemistry of Darter Chromoprotein Pigments (Master's thesis, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/1717