Contributions of Phenoxazone-Based Pigments to the Structure and Function of Nanostructured Granules in Squid Chromatophores.

Academic Article


  • Understanding the structure-function relationships of pigment-based nanostructures can provide insight into the molecular mechanisms behind biological signaling, camouflage, or communication experienced in many species. In squid Doryteuthis pealeii, combinations of phenoxazone-based pigments are identified as the source of visible color within the nanostructured granules that populate dermal chromatophore organs. In the absence of the pigments, granules experience a reduction in diameter with the loss of visible color, suggesting important structural and functional features. Energy gaps are estimated from electronic absorption spectra, revealing highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO)-lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) energies that are dependent upon the varying carboxylated states of the pigment. These results implicate a hierarchical mechanism for the bulk coloration in cephalopods originating from the molecular components confined within in the nanostructured granules of chromatophore organs.
  • Authors

  • Williams, Thomas L
  • DiBona, Christopher W
  • Dinneen, Sean R
  • Labadie, Stephanie F Jones
  • Chu, Feixia
  • Deravi, Leila F
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • April 19, 2016
  • Keywords

  • Animals
  • Chromatophores
  • Decapodiformes
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Models, Chemical
  • Oxazines
  • Pigments, Biological
  • Xanthenes
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 27049640
  • Start Page

  • 3754
  • End Page

  • 3759
  • Volume

  • 32
  • Issue

  • 15