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Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2005 Nov;69(11):2122-8.

Analysis of carotenoid composition in petals of calendula (Calendula officinalis L.).

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  • 1National Institute of Floricultural Science, Ibaraki, Japan.


Nineteen carotenoids were identified in extracts of petals of orange- and yellow-flowered cultivars of calendula (Calendula officinalis L.). Ten carotenoids were unique to orange-flowered cultivars. The UV-vis absorption maxima of these ten carotenoids were at longer wavelengths than that of flavoxanthin, the main carotenoid of calendula petals, and it is clear that these carotenoids are responsible for the orange color of the petals. Six carotenoids had a cis structure at C-5 (C-5'), and it is conceivable that these (5Z)-carotenoids are enzymatically isomerized at C-5 in a pathway that diverges from the main carotenoid biosynthesis pathway. Among them, (5Z,9Z)-lycopene (1), (5Z,9Z,5'Z,9'Z)-lycopene (3), (5'Z)-gamma-carotene (4), and (5'Z,9'Z)-rubixanthin (5) has never before been identified. Additionally, (5Z,9Z,5'Z)-lycopene (2) has been reported only as a synthesized compound.

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