Phycocyanin is a pigment from the light-harvesting phycobiliprotein family, along with allophycocyanin and phycoerythrin. It is an accessory pigment to chlorophyll. All phycobiliproteins are water soluble and therefore cannot exist within the membrane like carotenoids, but aggregate forming clusters that adhere to the membrane called phycobilisomes. Phycocyanin absorbs orange and red light, particularly near 620 nm (depending on which specific type it is), and emits fluorescence at about 650 nm (also depending on which type it is). Allophycocyanin absorbs and emits at longer wavelengths than Phycocyanin C or Phycocyanin R. Phycocyanins are found in Cyanobacteria (previously called blue-green algae). Phycobiliproteins have fluorescent properties that are used in immunoassay kits. Phycocyanin is from the Greek "phyco" meaning “algae” and "cyanin" is from the English word “cyan", which is derived from the Greek “kyanos" and means blue-green. The product Phycocyanin, produced by Spirulina, is used in the food and beverage industry as a natural colouring agent 'Lina Blue' and is found in sweets and ice cream.

The phycobiliproteins are made of subunits having a protein backbone to which a linear tetrapyrrole chromophores are bound.

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  • Phycocyanin — Phy co*cy a*nin, Phycocyanine Phy co*cy a*nine, n. [Gr. ? seaweed + E. cyanin.] A blue coloring matter found in certain alg[ae]. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Phycocyanin — Die chromophore Gruppe von Phycocyanin, das Phycocyanobilin Phycocyanin (PC[1]) gehört zu den Phycobilinen und wirkt als akzessorisches Pigment der Photosynthese bei Blaualgen (Cyanobakterien), kommt aber auch bei Rotalgen vor. Farbli …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • phycocyanin — noun Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary phyco + cyan + 1 in Date: 1875 any of various bluish green protein pigments in the cells of cyanobacteria …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • phycocyanin — (fi ko si an in) A blue phycobiliprotein pigment used to trap light energy during photosynthesis …   Dictionary of microbiology

  • phycocyanin — Blue phycobilin found in some algae, and especially in cyanobacteria …   Dictionary of molecular biology

  • phycocyanin — /fuy koh suy euh nin/, n. Biochem. a blue protein pigment, found in algae, involved in the process of photosynthesis. [1870 75; PHYCO + CYAN 1 + IN2] * * * …   Universalium

  • phycocyanin — noun A pigment from the light harvesting phycobiliprotein family, along with allophycocyanin and phycoerythrin, an accessory pigment to chlorophyll …   Wiktionary

  • Phycocyanin — Phy|co|cy|a|nin [↑ Phyco u. ↑ Cyanin (2)]: ↑ Phycobilin …   Universal-Lexikon

  • phycocyanin — phy·co·cy·a·nin .fī kō sī ə nən n any of various bluish green protein pigments in the cells of cyanobacteria …   Medical dictionary

  • phycocyanin — n. blue pigment found in algae …   English contemporary dictionary

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