The topography of cone oil droplets and their carotenoids were investigated in the retina of jungle crow (Corvus macrorhynchos). Fresh retina was sampled for the study of retinal cone oil droplets, and extracted retinal carotenoids were saponified using methods adapted from a recent study, then identified with reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). To assess the effects of saponification conditions on carotenoid recovery from crow retina, we varied base concentration and total time of saponification across a wide range of conditions, and again used HPLC to compare carotenoid concentrations. Based on colors, at least four types of oil droplets were recognized, i.e., red, orange, green, and translucent, across the retina. With an average of 91,202 /mm2, density gradually declines in an eccentric manner from optic disc. In retina, the density and size of droplets are inversely related. In the peripheral zone, oil droplets were significantly larger than those of the central area. The proportion of orange oil droplets (33%) was higher in the central area, whereas green was predominant in other areas. Three types of carotenoid (astaxanthin, galloxanthin and lutein), together with one unknown carotenoid, were recovered from the crow retina; astaxanthin was the dominant carotenoid among them. The recovery of carotenoids was affected by saponification conditions. Astaxanthin was well recovered in weak alkali (0.06 M KOH), in contrast, xanthophyllic carotenoids were best recovered in strong alkali (0.6 M KOH) after 12 h of saponification at freeze temperature.
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