Navigation Links
Blue bananas
Date:10/20/2008

This release is available in German.

Ripe bananas are of course yellow. However, under black light, the yellow bananas are bright blue, as discovered by scientists at the University of Innsbruck (Austria) and Columbia University (New York, USA). The team, headed by Bernhard Krutler, reports in the journal Angewandte Chemie that the blue glow is connected to the degradation of chlorophyll that occurs during ripening. In this process, colorless but fluorescing breakdown products of chlorophyll are concentrated in the banana peel.

The usual appearance of bananas is mainly the result of carotenoids. Under normal light, these natural pigments appear yellow. Under UV light, known to partygoers as black light, ripening bananas appear blue instead. There is no difference between naturally ripened bananas and those ripened with the use of ethylene gas. Green, unripe bananas do not fluoresce. The intensity of the luminescence correlates with the breakdown of the green pigment chlorophyll. As the ripening continues to progress, the blue glow decreases. "Surprisingly, this blue luminescence apparently has been entirely overlooked," says Krutler.

By means of various spectroscopic techniques, the team analyzed the structure of the main breakdown products. In doing this, they identified a propionate ester group, a modification never seen before in a chlorophyll breakdown product. This group has a stabilizing effect and could explain the unusually long duration of the fluorescing intermediates in bananas. Fluorescing chlorophyll catabolytes have otherwise only been found as short-lived intermediate products in higher plants.

Why does the breakdown of chlorophyll occur differently in bananas than in other higher plants, including even banana leaves? Krutler suggests two different explanations: "In contrast to humans, many of the animals that eat bananas can see light in the UV range. The blue luminescence of the banana fruit could give them a distinct signal that the fruit is ripe." Or perhaps the chlorophyll degradation products also serve a biological function for the banana. The amazingly stable catabolytes could help to prolong the viability of the ripening fruit.


'/>"/>

Contact: Bernhard Krutler
bernhard.kraeutler@uibk.ac.at
43-512-507-5200
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert  

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Blue bananas
(Date:3/30/2017)... HONG KONG , March 30, 2017 ... developed a system for three-dimensional (3D) fingerprint identification by adopting ground ... technology into a new realm of speed and accuracy for use ... applications at an affordable cost. ... ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... The Controller General of Immigration from Maldives Mr. ... have received the prestigious international IAIR Award for the most innovative ... ... Maldives Immigration ... Algeen (small picture on the right) have received the IAIR award for ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 21, 2017 ... Cloud used by retailers such as 1-800-Flowers and ... platform — Product Recommendations and Replenishment. Using Optimove,s machine ... more personalized product and replenishment recommendations to their ... also on predictions of customer intent drawn from ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... ... for all six of their healthcare job boards. As the largest network ... occupational therapists, and biotechnicians, DocCafe.com and the MedJobCafe.com Health Network work to ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 22, 2017 , ... AESKU.GROUP, an innovation leader ... & Technologien GmbH, thereby expanding its product portfolio to include allergy and food ... asthma, atopic eczema or a food allergy. Allergies are escalating to epidemic proportions ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 22, 2017 , ... RURO, Inc., ... Limfinity® version 6.5, a content-packed update to the Limfinity® framework. , LimitLIS® and ... and more diverse base of customers among labs and other businesses. Limfinity® 6.5 ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... , June 20, 2017  Kibow Biotech Inc., a ... announce the issuance of a new patent covering a ... by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on May ... of the Buzz of Bio award in 2014 in ... to developing non-drug approaches to chronic disease. Renadylâ„¢, the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: