Isolating algae pigments - Paper chromatography?


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Isolating algae pigments - Paper chromatography?

Post by lrost » Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:27 am

I am a high school science teacher and I have a student doing a science research project on Volvox globator. He is planning on exposing the Volvox to different wavelengths of light, then measuring growth (change in numbers). Also, I was wondering if it would be interesting for him to try to detect pigments in the algae using a chromatogram. I have found some resources on this, but I was wondering if paper chromatography would work and if some of the pigments could at least be compared to each other. Also, which solvent should be used?

I appreciate any help!

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Post by MrMistery » Tue Sep 01, 2009 1:40 pm

well you can definitely do it (i've done that experiment in my days as a high school student). You would probably need to use some organic solvent, as chlorophyll isn't water soluble. Benzen, acetone etc are good. If i recall correctly i originally used a mixture of 5:1 benzene:acetone (mind you though, this was almost ten years ago, i may have this completely wrong). i also suspect that you can use pretty much any organic solvent with good results. Here is a link ... action.pdf to a protocol describing chlorophyll extraction using isopropanol.

"As a biologist, I firmly believe that when you're dead, you're dead. Except for what you live behind in history. That's the only afterlife" - J. Craig Venter

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