A pink-pigmented strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa is shown in the picture. This was photographed in University of Colorado Hospital's clinical lab by the microbiology department. The organism is shown on Mueller-Hinton agar for Kirby-Bauer sensitivity testing.

The pigment pyorubin is responsible for the vibrant red-to-pink color, and is produced by many Pseudomonas species. Pyorubin is also believed to be involved in protection of the organism against oxidative stress.

Many other pigments are produced by P. aeruginosa. The most commonly seen and expressed is pyocyanin, which gives P. aeruginosa its characteristic blue-to-green color. Pyocyanin has been determined to display antibiotic, antifungal and cytotoxic properties. It therefore is thought to contribute to the P. aeruginosa's pathogenesis. 

Pyoverdin is also produced by P. aeruginosa and is responsible for the fluorescent qualities of the organism. Pyoverdin is another virulance factor and acts as a siderophore, involved in a complex iron acquisition system, and has been determined to be an essential component in the formation of biofilms. 

Another less commonly seen pigment is pyomelanin, which gives P. aeruginosa a brown color.

Reference: Ferguson D., Cahill O.J., Quilty B. (2007). "Phenotypic, molecular and antibiotic resistance profiling of nosocomial Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains isolated from two Irish Hospitals." Journal of Medical and Biological Sciences 1:1.


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