Other Free Encyclopedias » Science Encyclopedia » Science & Philosophy: Planck mass to Posit » Plant Pigment - Absorption Of Radiation, Chlorophylls, Carotenoids, Flavonoids, Phytochrome, Additional Plant Pigments

Plant Pigment - Carotenoids

plants energy carotene carbon

Carotenoids are yellow, orange, or red pigments synthesized by many plants, fungi, and bacteria. In plants, carotenoids can occur in roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and fruits. Within a plant cell, carotenoids are found in the membranes of plastids, organelles surrounded by characteristic double membranes. Chloroplasts are the most important type of plastid and they synthesize and store carotenoids as well as perform photosynthesis. Two of the best known carotenoids are Beta-carotene and lycopene. Beta-carotene gives carrots, sweet potatoes, and other vegetables their orange color. Lycopene gives tomatoes their red color. When a human eats carrots or other foods containing carotenoids, the liver splits the carotenoid molecule in half to create two molecules of vitamin-A, an essential micro-nutrient.

Chemists have identified about 500 different, naturally occurring carotenoids. Each consists of a long hydrocarbon chain with a 6-carbon ionone ring at each end. All carotenoids consist of 40 carbon atoms and are synthesized from eight 5-carbon isoprene subunits connected head-to-tail. There are two general classes of carotenoids: carotenes and xanthophylls. Carotenes consist only of carbon and hydrogen atoms; beta-carotene is the most common carotene. Xanthophylls have one or more oxygen atoms; lutein is one of the most common xanthophylls.

Carotenoids have two important functions in plants. First, they can contribute to photosynthesis. They do this by transferring some of the light energy they absorb to chlorophylls, which then use this energy to drive photosynthesis. Second, they can protect plants which are over-exposed to sunlight. They do this by harmlessly dissipating excess light energy which they absorb as heat. In the absence of carotenoids, this excess light energy could destroy proteins, membranes, and other molecules. Some plant physiologists believe that carotenoids may have an additional function as regulators of certain developmental responses in plants.


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about 4 years ago

Thank you for writing this. It was written simply enough that I could understand and provided useful information.

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over 2 years ago

Straight and to the point, they way I like it.

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over 3 years ago

I think that you have mistaken in claiming carotenoids are contained in the chloroplast. In fact, it is not the chloroplast but the plant organelle called chromoplast.

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over 3 years ago

the site is very helpful and the underling and bolding and differnet colors are helpful

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about 3 years ago

very lozing

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almost 2 years ago

its nyc......direct point to point

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over 2 years ago

nine

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7 months ago

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about 1 year ago

I would like to find a justification of the high abundance of carotenoids in carrots. Any help is welcome. Carotenoid´s support to the photosynthesis claimed in every website is not compatible with the underground location of carrots!

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over 1 year ago

i need molecular basis of carotenoids
do let me know if you know any