Carotenoid composition and conformation in retinal oil droplets of the domestic chicken

Ana Andreea Arteni, Amy M. LaFountain, Maxime T.A. Alexandre, Mathias Fradot, Maria M. Mendes-Pinto, José Alain Sahel, Serge Picaud, Harry A. Frank, Bruno Robert, Andrew A. Pascal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Carotenoid-containing oil droplets in the avian retina act as cut-off filters to enhance colour discrimination. We report a confocal resonance Raman investigation of the oil droplets of the domestic chicken, Gallus gallus domesticus. We show that all carotenoids present are in a constrained conformation, implying a locus in specific lipid binding sites. In addition, we provide proof of a recent conclusion that all carotenoid-containing droplets contain a mixture of all carotenoids present, rather than only a subset of them—a conclusion that diverges from the previously-held view. Our results have implications for the mechanism(s) giving rise to these carotenoid mixtures in the differently-coloured droplets.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0217418
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2019
Externally publishedYes


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