Demmig-Adams, Barbara Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado.
Adams, William, III. Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado.
Rixham, Carly S. Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado.
Last reviewed:January 2019
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- Carotenoid presence and function
- Effect on human health
- Role in photosynthetic organisms
- Role in animals
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Common pigments, typically of yellow, orange, or red hues, that serve in both light absorption and the protection against too much light in photosynthesis as well as in the vision process. Carotenoids comprise a class of labile, easily oxidizable, naturally occurring pigments that are distributed widely in plants (Fig. 1) and animals, as well as being preferentially soluble in fats and fat solvents. In addition, dietary carotenoids function as important gene regulators, impacting, for example, the risk for major human diseases, and as signals affecting reproductive success in many plants and animals. See also: Photoprotection (plants); Photoreception; Photosynthesis; Pigmentation; Plant pigment; Vision
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