Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology

, Volume 180, Issue 7, pp 1286–1300 | Cite as

Structural Characterization of a Novel Antioxidant Pigment Produced by a Photochromogenic Microbacterium oxydans Strain

  • Fatma Meddeb-MouelhiEmail author
  • Jessica Kelly Moisan
  • Jodrey Bergeron
  • Benoit Daoust
  • Marc Beauregard


The Microbacteriaceae family, such as Microbacterium, is well known for its ability to produce carotenoid-type pigments, but little has been published on the structure of such pigments. Here, we isolated the yellow pigment that is responsible for the yellowish color of a Microbacterium oxydans strain isolated from a decomposing stump of a resinous tree. The pigment, which is synthesized when the bacterium is grown under light, was purified and characterized using several spectroscopic analyses, such as ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy (UV–Vis), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), 1H and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR, 13C NMR), and high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS). From these analysis, a molecular formula (C27H42O2) and a chemical structure (8-hydroxymethyl-2,4,12-trimethyl-14-(2,6,6-trimethyl-cyclohex-2-enyl)-teradeca-3,7,9,11,13-pentan-2-ol) were deduced. The chemical properties of the pigment, such as aqueous stability at different pH, stability in different organic solvents, and antioxidant capacity, are also reported. Together, these data and previous studies have resulted in the identification of a new antioxidant pigment produced by M. oxydans. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first thorough investigation of this carotenoid-like pigment in the Microbacterium genera.


Carotenoid Spectroscopy Microbacterium oxydans Photochromogenic bacteria Culture Wood decay 



MB gratefully acknowledges the financial support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) grant no.138654. The editorial help of Dr. Martin Kalmokoff in preparing this manuscript is acknowledged.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interests.

Supplementary material

12010_2016_2167_MOESM1_ESM.docx (203 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 202 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fatma Meddeb-Mouelhi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Jessica Kelly Moisan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jodrey Bergeron
    • 3
  • Benoit Daoust
    • 3
  • Marc Beauregard
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre de Recherche sur les Matériaux LignocellulosiquesUniversité du Québec à Trois-RivièresTrois-RivièresCanada
  2. 2.PROTEOUniversité Laval QuébecCanada
  3. 3.Département de Chimie, Biochimie et PhysiqueUniversité du Québec à Trois-RivièresTrois-RivièresCanada

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