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It has a golden or brownish color and is an accessory pigment, particularly significant in its absorption of light in the 500-600 nm region, since water causes red light to be no longer as effectively utilized for photosynthesis by chlorophyll a. Like chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b, it helps the organism gather light and passes a quanta of excitation energy through the light harvesting antennae to the photosynthetic reaction centre. Chlorophyll c is unusual because it does not have an isoprenoid tail or a reduced ring D, features typical of the other chlorophylls commonly found in algae and plants.
Chlorophyll c can be further divided into chlorophyll c1, chlorophyll c2 and chlorophyll c3, plus at least 8 other newly found subtypes.
Chlorophyllc1 is a common form of chlorophyll c. It differs from chlorophyll c2 in its C8 group, having an ethyl group instead of vinyl group (C-C single bond instead of C=C double bond). Its absorption maxima are around 444, 577, 626 nm and 447, 579, 629 nm in diethyl ether and acetone respectively.
Chlorophyllc3 is a form of chlorophyll c found in microalga Emiliania huxleyi, identified in 1989. Its absorption maxima are around 452, 585, 625 nm and 452, 585, 627 nm in diethyl ether and acetone respectively.
^ abBlankenship, Robert E. (February 2002). Molecular Mechanisms of Photosynthesis. Wiley-Blackwell.
^ abcDougherty, Ralph C.; Strain, H. H.; Svee, W. A.; Uphaus, R. A.; Katz, J. J. (May 1970). "The Structure, Properties, and Distribution of Chlorophyll c". J. Am. Chem. Soc.92 (9): 2826–2833. doi:10.1021/ja00712a037.
^ abFookes, Christopher J. R.; Jeffrey, S. W. (1989). "The structure of chlorophyll c3, a novel marine photosynthetic pigment". J. Chem. Soc., Chem. Commun. (23): 1827–1828.
^Zapata, Manuel; Garrido, José L.; Jeffrey, Shirley W. (2006). "Chlorophyll c Pigments: Current Status". Chlorophylls and Bacteriochlorophylls: Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration25: 39–53. doi:10.1007/1-4020-4516-6_3.