The production, purification and crystallization of a pocilloporin pigment from a reef-forming coral. Academic Article uri icon


  • Reef-building corals contain fluorescent pigments termed pocilloporins that function by regulating the light environment of coral and acting as a photoprotectant in excessive sunlight. These pocilloporins are related to the monomeric green fluorescent protein and the tetrameric DsRed fluorescent proteins, which have widespread use as biotechnological tools. An intensely blue-coloured pocilloporin, termed Rtms5, was expressed in Escherichia coli, purified and crystallized. Rtms5 was shown to be tetrameric, with deep blue crystals that diffract to 2.2 A resolution and belong to space group I4(1)22. The colour of this pocilloporin was observed to be sensitive to pH and a yellow (pH 3.5) and a red form (pH 4.5) of Rtms5 were also crystallized. These crystals belong to space group P4(2)22 and diffract to 2.4 A resolution or better.


  • Beddoe, TC
  • Ling, M
  • Dove, S
  • Hoegh-Guldberg, O
  • Devenish, RJ
  • Prescott, M
  • Rossjohn, J

publication date

  • 2003