Color and chirality: Carotenoid self-assemblies in flower petals

TitleColor and chirality: Carotenoid self-assemblies in flower petals
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsZsila, F, Deli, J, Simonyi, M
Pagination937 - 942
Date Published2001
KeywordsCarotenoid, Chiral self-assembly, Chromoplast ultrastructure, Circular Dichroism, Nematic mesophase, Petal

As a novel phenomenon, optical activity - often very strong - has been detected by circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy in carotenoid-containing living flowers of several species belonging to different families. Using natural pure xanthophyll esters, very similar CD spectra were obtained in vitro, proving the ability of these molecules to form chiral self-assemblies. The relationship between the ultrastructure of the chromoplast, its chemical composition and the optical activity is discussed. The applicability of CD spectroscopy for studying intact plant tissue is emphasized.