Analysis of Photosynthetic Pigments from Blue-Green Algae
Product Number: SB49179
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Cyanobactera, also known as blue-green algae, obtain their energy by photosynthesis using sunlight as their energy source. There are two classes of photosynthetic pigments in Cyanobactera. The first class contains water-soluble proteins and the major protein is called Phycocyanin, which is blue. The other classes of photosynthetic pigments that include carotinoids and chlorophylls are small molecular weight molecules which are insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents such as alcohol. In this exercise, 16 students working in pairs isolate and characterize both groups of pigments. In part A of this exercise, students prepare a water-soluble extract from blue-green algae and show that it contains the single major protein Phycocyanin by electrophoresis. They also determine the charge of this protein by comparing its electrophoretic mobility to the mobilities of dyes with known charges. In part B, they prepare an alcohol extract and analyze the smaller alcohol soluble pigments by thin layer chromatography in order to identify the chlorophylls and major carotenoid pigments. Includes complete instructions, blue-green algae, dye sample 1, dye sample 2, glycerol solution, thin-layer sheet, chromatographic tube, 1.5 ml tubes, small transfer pipets, small pipets, 5 g agarose, and TG buffer (contents make 3.5 L of re-usable buffer). You will need electrophoresis equipment and methanol. Automatic pipetors are optional.