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Copigmentation is a phenomenon where pigmentation due to anthocyanidins is reinforced by the presence of other colorless flavonoids known as cofactors or “copigments”. This occurs by the formation of a non-covalently-linked complex.[1]



An example is the bluish purple flowers of the Japanese garden iris (Iris ensata).[2] The characteristic floral jade coloration of Strongylodon macrobotrys has been shown to be an example of copigmentation, a result of the presence of malvin (the anthocyanin) and saponarin (a flavone glucoside) in the ratio 1:9.[3]


It is a phenomenon observed in the berry color of the porcelain berry (Ampelopsis glandulosa).


Part of the color of red wine can be due to the copigmentation phenomenon.[4] Copigmentation is only important during the early stages of a wine's age. Anthocyanins begin to polymerize with other wine compounds, such as hydroxycinnamic acids, tannins, glyceraldehyde or proteins, to form more complex structures with covalent C–C bonds.[5]

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  1. ^ Stabilizing and Modulating Color by Copigmentation: Insights from Theory and Experiment. Trouillas P, Sancho-García JC, De Freitas V, Gierschner J, Otyepka M, Dangles O, Chem. Rev., 116(9), 4937–4982, 2016, doi:10.1021/acs.chemrev.5b00507
  2. ^ Anthocyanin-flavone copigmentation in bluish purple flowers of Japanese garden iris (Iris ensata Thunb.) T. Yabuya, M. Nakamura, T. Iwashina, M. Yamaguchi and T. Takehara, EUPHYTICA, Volume 98, Number 3, 163-167, doi:10.1023/A:1003152813333
  3. ^ Greenish blue flower colour of Strongylodon macrobotrys. Kosaku Takeda, Aki Fujii, Yohko Senda and Tsukasa Iwashina, Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, Volume 38, Issue 4, August 2010, Pages 630–633, doi:10.1016/j.bse.2010.07.014
  4. ^ The Copigmentation of Anthocyanins and Its Role in the Color of Red Wine: A Critical Review. Roger Boulton, Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 52:2 (2001) Archived 2013-11-09 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Transformation of stacked π–π-stabilized malvidin-3-O-glucoside — Catechin complexes towards polymeric structures followed by anisotropy decay study. Sándor Kunsági-Máté, Bianca May, Christopher Tschiersch, Dirk Fetzer, Ibolya Horváth, László Kollár, Martin Pour Nikfardjam, Food Research International, Volume 44, Issue 1, January 2011, Pages 23–27, doi:10.1016/j.foodres.2010.11.033

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