What Is Melanin?

By jolene
Reviewed: Dr. Mera
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3. Melanin in Other Organisms

In other organisms, the role of melanin is often very diverse. In cephalopods, a type of melanin is used as a defense mechanism against predators. In bacteria and fungi, melanin also protects them from stresses causing cell damage such as from ultraviolet radiation.

In many pathogens, melanin can play an important role in the pathogenicity and virulence of the microbe against the immune response of the host. In some fungi, the melanin helps to capture gamma rays for photosynthesis. In birds, the colors in their feathers are due to melanin and degrade less easily compared to unpigmented feathers. In mammals, melanin plays a role in the color of their coat and pattern. In plants, the melanin produced is often referred to as “catechol melanin.” it can be commonly seen in the enzymatic browning of fruits.


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