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Related to Melanophores: Iridophores, Xanthophores


1. Any of several types of pigment cells, especially one found in a fish, amphibian, or reptile.
2. A multicellular organ in cephalopods that contains pigment cells.
3. A specialized pigment-bearing organelle in certain photosynthetic bacteria.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Zoology) a cell in the skin of frogs, chameleons, etc, in which pigment is concentrated or dispersed, causing the animal to change colour
2. (Botany) another name for chromoplast
ˌchromatoˈphoric, chromatophorous adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(krəˈmæt əˌfɔr, -ˌfoʊr)

1. a cell containing pigment, esp. one that produces a temporary color, as in cuttlefishes.
2. one of the colored plastids in plant cells.
chro•mat`o•phor′ic (-ˈfɔr ɪk, -ˈfɒr-) chro•ma•toph•or•ous (ˌkroʊ məˈtɒf ər əs) adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
alexandri were reported in juvenile of the same species (Costa et al., 2016), which in dark environments the skin darkening may occur two ways, the increasing of melanophores cell numbers, and by the increasing size of the melanophores in the pigments of the skin.
The stratum spongiosum is a loose connective tissue and contains pigment cells, which are mainly melanophores. The pigment cells were mainly distributed between epidermis and dermis or dermis and hypodermis and it is very sparse in stratum compactum of dermis.
Indeed, black pigment cells originating from the neural crest (melanophores) are present in the dermis and behave similarly to human melanocytes.
The number of melanophores, responsible for skin pigmentation, progressively increased in the dorsolateral region of the abdomen.
Physiological color change of melanophores can also be regulated based on the color of the background environment (Logan et al., 2006).
Until recently, almost all research on zebrafish stripes focused on the other two pigment cells: the black cells (called melanophores) and the yellow cells (called xanthophores).
This new molecule, a derivative of tryptophan, is an indoleamine (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) that was called melatonin, name derived from its effect in blanching the melanophores (mela-) in amphibians and because the precursor to melatonin is serotonin (-tonin).
Rollag, "Melanopsin: an opsin in melanophores, brain, and eye," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol.
KIT encodes a growth factor receptor that is expressed in the precursor of the melanophore. It plays an important role in the multiplication, migration and survival of melanophores.
In most Korean Cobitis species, melanophores of the lateral centre of the body gather to form Gambetta's zone-4 initially, and then the other lines of Gambetta's zone-1, -2, and -3 sequentially appear along the length of the body between 14-17 DAH.
GCH genes are expressed in the pigment synthesis pathways in xanthophores and melanophores and during the differentiation of neural crest cells into either melanophores and xanthophores or melano-phores and iridiophores.
Meitei, "Nigella sativa seed extract and its bioactive compound thymoquinone: The new melanogens causing hyperpigmentation in the wall lizard melanophores," Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, vol.