Vibrational Raman spectroscopic study of scytonemin, the UV-protective cyanobacterial pigment

H. G.M. Edwards, F. Garcia-Pichel, E. M. Newton, D. D. Wynn-Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


The Raman spectrum of the photoprotective pigment scytonemin found in cyanobacterial sheaths has been obtained for the first time. Its skeletal structure is extensively conjugated and unique in nature. Detailed molecular vibrational assignments are proposed and a distinctive group of four corroborative vibrational bands have been identified as unique indicators for the compound. These bands, especially a prominent feature at wavenumber 1590 cm-1, are sufficiently conspicuous to be detectable in the mixed biomolecular pools of undisturbed natural microbial communities. This has been confirmed by demonstrating the Raman spectral bands for scytonemin in a sample of an intact intertidal cyanobacterial mat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-200
Number of pages8
JournalSpectrochimica Acta - Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Spectroscopy


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