IUPAC name
Acetic acid [(1S,3R)-3-hydroxy-4-[(3E,5E,7E,9E,11E,13E,15E)-18-[(1S,4S,6R)-4-hydroxy-2,2,6-trimethyl-7-oxabicyclo[4.1.0]heptan-1-yl]-3,7,12,16-tetramethyl-17-oxooctadeca-1,3,5,7,9,11,13,15-octaenylidene]-3,5,5-trimethylcyclohexyl] ester
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard100.212.315
Molar mass658.92 g·mol−1
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

Fucoxanthin is a xanthophyll, with formula C42H58O6. It is found as an accessory pigment in the chloroplasts of brown algae and most other heterokonts, giving them a brown or olive-green color. Fucoxanthin absorbs light primarily in the blue-green to yellow-green part of the visible spectrum, peaking at around 510-525 nm by various estimates and absorbing significantly in the range of 450 to 540 nm.


Carotenoids are pigments produced by plants and algae and play a role in light harvesting as part of the photosynthesis process. Xanthophylls are a subset of carotenoids, identified by the fact that they are oxygenated either as hydroxyl groups or as epoxide bridges. This makes them more water soluble than carotenes like beta-carotene. Fucoxanthin is a xanthophyll that contributes more than 10% of the estimated total production of carotenoids in nature.[1] It is an accessory pigment found in the chloroplasts of many brown macro algae, such as Fucus spp., and the golden-brown, unicellular microalgae, the diatoms. It absorbs red light at bandwidth 450-540 nm, imparting a brownish-olive color to algae. Fucoxanthin has a highly unique structure that contains both an epoxide bond and hydroxyl groups along with an allenic bond (carbon-carbon double bond) and a conjugated carbonyl group (carbon-oxygen double bond) in the polyene chain. All of these features provide fucoxanthin with powerful antioxidant activity.[2]

In macro algae Fucoxanthin acts like an antennae for light harvesting and energy transfer in the photosystem light harvesting complexes.[3] In diatoms like Phaeodactylum tricornutum, fucoxanthin is protein-bound along with chlorophyll to form a light harvesting protein complex.[4] Fucoxanthin is the dominant carotenoid, responsible for up to 60% of the energy transfer to chlorophyll a in diatoms [5] When bound to protein, the absorption spectrum of fucoxanthin expands from 450-540 nm to 390-580 nm, a range that is useful in aquatic environments.[6]

Other Languages
تۆرکجه: فوکوزانتین
català: Fucoxantina
čeština: Fukoxanthin
Deutsch: Fucoxanthin
español: Fucoxantina
Esperanto: Fukoksantino
français: Fucoxanthine
galego: Fucoxantina
Հայերեն: Ֆուկոքսանտին
italiano: Fucoxantina
Nederlands: Fucoxanthine
polski: Fukoksantyna
português: Fucoxantina
русский: Фукоксантин
српски / srpski: Fukoksantin
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Fukoksantin
svenska: Fukoxantin
中文: 褐藻素