Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

C. Dan Foote


Fluorescence in certain land snails has been found to arise from a bacteria carried by the snails. The bacteria, a genus of Pseudomonas, produce a pigment complex in iron-deficient media. The pigment complex consists of both fluorescent and non-fluorescent pigments. One of the fluorescent compounds was isolated and purified by paper chromatography using several different solvent systems.

Absorption and fluorescent spectra of the compound at a number of pH values were measured and the changes with pH of both the intensity and the color of the fluorescence were observed. The purified compound was ninhydrin negative but after acid hydrolysis several amino acids were identified and were thought to occur in peptide bonds. The amino acids identified were: serine, glutamic acids, aspartic acid, cystine, threonine, lysine, and alanine.

A comparison with other fluorescent compounds isolated from the Pseudomonas pigment complex showed the compound to be one which had not been previously isolated.

Suggestions on a more efficient method of purification and precautions necessary during isolation are given.

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Chemistry Commons