St. Norbert College Undergraduate Research Forum 2019


Previous research has identified a spike of some unknown carotenoid in Norway Maple leaves. It has been determined that this unknown carotenoid is increasing only in the Norway Maple during the fall and is not detected in other species. In the current project, the compound has been isolated by HPLC and further analyzed by IR in the attempt to determine the molecular structure. Using a carotenoid database in conjunction with the analytical methods, the chromophore has been identified as consistent with the structure of a-carotene and lutein. Further research is needed to determine the functionality of the terminal region of the molecule.