Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Carmine


To isolate and characterize indigenous algicidal bacteria and their algae-lysing compounds active against Microcystis aeruginosa, strains TH1, TH2, and FACHB 905.

Concepts: Immune system, Bacteria, Fungus, T helper cell, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacterial cell structure, Vermilion, Carmine


Some species of Talaromyces secrete large amounts of red pigments. Literature has linked this character to species such as Talaromyces purpurogenus, T. albobiverticillius, T. marneffei, and T. minioluteus often under earlier Penicillium names. Isolates identified as T. purpurogenus have been reported to be interesting industrially and they can produce extracellular enzymes and red pigments, but they can also produce mycotoxins such as rubratoxin A and B and luteoskyrin. Production of mycotoxins limits the use of isolates of a particular species in biotechnology. Talaromyces atroroseus sp. nov., described in this study, produces the azaphilone biosynthetic families mitorubrins and Monascus pigments without any production of mycotoxins. Within the red pigment producing clade, T. atroroseus resolved in a distinct clade separate from all the other species in multigene phylogenies (ITS, β-tubulin and RPB1), which confirm its unique nature. Talaromyces atroroseus resembles T. purpurogenus and T. albobiverticillius in producing red diffusible pigments, but differs from the latter two species by the production of glauconic acid, purpuride and ZG-1494α and by the dull to dark green, thick walled ellipsoidal conidia produced. The type strain of Talaromyces atroroseus is CBS 133442.

Concepts: Biology, Fungus, Phylogenetics, Green, Purple, White, Vermilion, Carmine


The analysis of paint cross-sections can reveal a remarkable amount of information about the layers and materials in a painting without visibly altering the artwork. Although a variety of analytical approaches are used to detect inorganic pigments as well as organic binders, proteins, and lipids in cross-sections, they do not provide for the unambiguous identification of natural, organic colorants. Here, we develop a novel combined surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), light microscopy, and normal Raman scattering (NRS) approach for the identification of red organic and inorganic pigments in paint cross-sections obtained from historic 18th and 19th century oil paintings. In particular, Ag nanoparticles are directly applied to localized areas of paint cross-sections mounted in polyester resin for SERS analysis of the organic pigments. This combined extractionless non-hydrolysis SERS and NRS approach provides for the definitive identification of carmine lake, madder lake, and vermilion in multiple paint layers. To our knowledge, this study represents the first in situ identification of natural, organic pigments within paint cross-sections from oil paintings. Furthermore, the combination of SERS and normal Raman, with light microscopy provides conservators with a more comprehensive understanding of a painting from a single sample and without the need for sample pretreatment.

Concepts: Pigment, Vermilion, History of painting, Painting, Carmine, Oil painting


This study has the following aims: (1) to confirm a methodology for a fecal indocyanine green (ICG) imaging test for measuring gastro-intestinal transit time (GITT); and (2) to compare GITT in mice given a liquid diet in which viscosity increases under acidic conditions to that in mice given stable liquid diets with comparable viscosity or regular chow. To address Aim 1, mice received ICG orally along with intraperitoneal injection of atropine in Study 1, and mice were given ICG orally with concurrent carmine red for Study 2. Fluorescence imaging of feces collected for 8 h thereafter was used to detect the first feces with fluorescence and thereby determine GITT. To address Aim 2, mice were fed ad libitum for 1 week with either liquid diet or regular chow for Study 3, or with liquid diet containing low-methoxyl (LM) pectin or high-methoxyl (HM) pectin, or regular chow for Study 4. GITT was then determined by fecal ICG imaging. Atropine delayed GITT in a dose-dependent manner. The GITT of ICG completely corresponded to that of carmine red (correlation coefficient, 1.00). The first ICG excretion in the loose/some diarrheal feces of mice given a liquid diet was seen at 170 min. Feces of mice given liquid diet were loose with LM pectin and loose/some diarrhea with HM pectin. GITT of mice given liquid diet with HM pectin was significantly delayed (280 min) compared to that of mice given liquid diet with LM pectin (111 min) or regular chow (130 min). Fecal imaging of ICG enables measurements of GITT. LM pectin supplementation in a liquid diet may normalize GITT in mice to that of a normal meal and may be associated with changes in fecal properties.

Concepts: Correlation and dependence, Feces, Human feces, Diarrhea, Meconium, Carmine


This perspective highlights current trends, advances, and challenges related to the replacement of artificial dyes and the insect-based carmine with alternative natural pigments. Briefly reviewing the history of food coloration, key publications and public events leading to diverse concerns about artificial dyes and carmine will be summarized. An overview about promising alternatives in the market and those under development is provided, including a separate section on coloring foodstuffs. The perspective aims at supporting readers to keep abreast with the enormous efforts undertaken by the food and beverage industry to replace certain food dyes.

Concepts: Dye, Pigment, Pigments, Drink, Food and drink, Food coloring, Carmine, Lake pigment


The chemical composition of the scale insect Dactylopius coccus was analyzed with the aim to discover new possible intermediates in the biosynthesis of carminic acid. UPLC-DAD/HRMS analyses of fresh and dried insects resulted in the identification of three novel carminic acid analogues and the verification of several previously described intermediates. Structural elucidation revealed that the three novel compounds were desoxyerythrolaccin-O-glucosyl (DE-O-Glcp), 5,6-didehydroxyerythrolaccin 3-O-β-D-glucopyranoside (DDE-3-O-Glcp), and flavokermesic acid anthrone (FKA). The finding of FKA in D. coccus provides solid evidence of a polyketide, rather than a shikimate, origin of coccid pigments. Based on the newly identified compounds, we present a detailed biosynthetic scheme that accounts for the formation of carminic acid (CA) in D. coccus and all described coccid pigments which share a flavokermesic acid (FK) core. Detection of coccid pigment intermediates in members of the Planococcus (mealybugs) and Pseudaulacaspis genera shows that the ability to form these pigments is taxonomically more widely spread than previously documented. The shared core-FK-biosynthetic pathway and wider taxonomic distribution suggests a common evolutionary origin for the trait in all coccid dye producing insect species.

Concepts: Amino acid, Insect, Cochineal, Sternorrhyncha, Scale insect, Carmine, Scale insects, Polish cochineal


In this study, a biomembrane surface fermentation was used to produce red pigments of Penicillium novae-zelandiae, and the significant improvement in pigment production by the addition of 0.4 g/L of tyrosine demonstrated that the red pigments probably contained betalain. Therefore, one red pigment was purified, and identified as 2-decarboxybetanin by high-resolution mass spectrometry (MS) and MS/MS analysis. Transcriptomic analysis revealed the differentially expressed genes and metabolic profile of P. novae-zelandiae in response to different cultivations and exhibited the complete biosynthetic pathway of 2-decarboxybetanin in P. novae-zelandiae. Betalains are important water-soluble nitrogen-containing food coloring agents, obtained mainly from beetroot by chemical extraction. This paper is the first report about the production of betalain by microbial fermentation, and results exhibit the possible use of fungal fermentation in future 2-decarboxybetanin production.

Concepts: Bacteria, Amino acid, Metabolism, Mass spectrometry, Vermilion, Beet, Betalain, Carmine


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of bleaching gel using 35% hydrogen peroxide (HP), associated with red carmine pigment (RC), in the 3:1 or 1:1 ratio, on fracture resistance and dentin microhardness of endodontically treated teeth.

Concepts: Oxygen, Chlorine, Carmine


Bacterial pigments are promising compounds in the prevention and treatment of various cancers. In the current study, the antioxidant, cytotoxic, and antimicrobial effects of a red pigment obtained from a marine bacterial strain were investigated.

Concepts: Microbiology, Virus, Vermilion, Carmine


Carminic acid is a C-glucosylated octaketide anthraquinone and the main constituent of the natural dye carmine (E120) possessing unique coloring, stability and solubility properties. Despite being used since ancient times, longstanding efforts to elucidate its route of biosynthesis have been unsuccessful. Herein is reported a novel combination of enzymes derived from a plant (Aloe arborescens, Aa), a bacterium (Streptomyces sp R1128, St), and an insect (Dactylopius coccus, Dc) that allows for the biosynthesis of the C-glucosylated anthraquinone, dcII, a precursor for carminic acid. The pathway, consisting of AaOKS, StZhuI, StZhuJ and DcUGT2, presents an alternative biosynthetic approach for the production of polyketides by using a type III polyketide synthase (PKS) and tailoring enzymes originating from a type II PKS system. The current study showcases the power of using transient expression in Nicotiana benthamiana for efficient and rapid identification of functional biosynthetic pathways including both soluble and membrane-bound enzymes.

Concepts: Bacteria, Amino acid, Metabolism, Adenosine triphosphate, Cochineal, Polyketide, Aloe arborescens, Carmine