An Investigation of the Chemical Properties and Structure of the Pigment of the Fungus Clavulinopsis Laeticolor
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Specimens of the fungus Clavulinopsis laeticolor, collected in southern Michigan during the late summer and fall of 1971, were divided into three groups. Specimens of one group were placed in acetone, those of the second group in 95% ethanol, and those of the third group were dried and added to the mycological collection of Dr. Paul Olexia, Kalamazoo College. The acetone and ethanol pigment extracts were each found to contain a yellow constituent-with visible absorption maxima in ethanol at 386, 406, and 431 nm. An elucidation of the chemical properties of this pigment was attempted via thin-layer chromatography with a number of solvent systems of varying polarity. The extracts were co-chromatographed with samples of several carotenoids thought possibly to resemble the unknown pigment. The behavior of the compound on TLC, along with its tendency to partition hypophasically between petroleum ether and aqueous methanol, demonstrated the polar nature of the pigment. Furthermore, the water solubility of saponified portions of the pigment indicated the presence of the potassium salt of an acidic compound, assumed to be either a carboxylic acid or a phenol. The three known carotenoid caboxylic acids were eliminated on the basis of differing visible absorption spectra The class of flavonoids, specifically the aurones, is suggested as a possibility for further investigation.