Xanthoproteic Test

Xanthoproteic test is usually performed to detect the presence of aromatic amino acids present in the given sample. Xanthoproteic test is generally used to detect the presence of phenolic or indolic groups i.e. All types of aromatic amino acids. As a result Yellow precipitate remains due to presence of xanthoproteic acid. The term ‘Xanthoproteic’ refers as (‘Xantho’ = Yellow and ‘Proteic’ = Protein) thus this test is also known as Yellow Protein Test. This test is only qualitative test that provides the information about presence of aromatic amino acids i.e. presence of benzene ring.

Why Xanthoproteic Test?

  • This test is used to detect the presence of only aromatic amino acids like Tryptophan, Tyrosine etc.
  • If xanthoproteic test gives positive result then and then only you need to perform further tests like Sulfur test, Hopkins-Kole test, Millon’s test, Sakaguchi test, etc.

Principle of Xanthoproteic Test

Nitration of the phenyl rings in the aromatic amino acids due to the HNO3 gives a yellow color due to the nitro substitution products. Addition of alkali produces orange color due to the formation of Na-salt (nitro derivatives). Amino acids containing a benzene ring such as phenylalanine do not give this test a positive test because the phenyl group in phenylalanine is very stable, which does not react with nitric acid under the conditions of xanthoproteic test. However, phenylalanine can give positive results after extended periods of heating.

Requirements of Xanthoproteic Test

Instruments and Materials

  • Test tubes
  • Test tube stand
  • Pipettes
  • Dropper
  • Bunsen burner

Chemicals and Reagents

  • 3 ml of test solution
  • 40% of NaOH solution
  • 1ml of conc. HNO3

Procedure of Xanthoproteic Test

  1. Take a dry and sterile test tube.
  2. Add 3 ml of the given sample solution into the test tube with the help of dropper.
  3. Add a 1 ml of concentrated sulfuric acid (HNO3).
  4. Boil the test solution gently on a Bunsen burner.
  5. The solution turns yellow; then cool the test solution.
  6. Add 40% of NaOH solution till solution turns alkaline.
  7. Observe the change in colur.
  8. Formation of a deep yellow or orange color confirms that test is positive.

Observation and Inferences of Xanthoproteic Test

Formation of a deep yellow or orange color gives this test positive.

Results and Interpretation of Xanthoproteic Test

Formation of a deep yellow or orange color gives this test positive and confirms the presence of amino acids that containing aromatic group. All other results gives this test negative and confirms the presence of non-aromatic amino acids.

References and Sources

Further Readings

  1. 8 Qualitative Tests for Protein
  2. Ninhydrin Test
  3. Acid Fast Staining
  4. Algae
  5. Aseptic Transfer Technique
  6. Bacterial Flagella, Fimbriae and Pili
  7. Bacterial Growth and Nutrition
  8. Growth Curve of Bacteria
  9. Instruments Used in Microbiology Laboratory
  10. MacConkey agar
  11. McFarland Standards
  12. Monochrome Staining
  13. Negative Staining
  14. Nutritional Requirements of Micro-Organisms
  15. Serial Dilution in Microbiology
  16. Spread Plate Technique
  17. Streak Plate Technique

FAQs on Xanthoproteic Test

  1. What is the Xanthoproteic test?

    Xanthoproteic test is a qualitative test for proteins that detects only the presence of aromatic amino acids. This test is also known as yellow protein test.

  2. What is the positive result for the Xanthoprotein test?

    Presence of a deep yellow or orange color gives positive test for xanthoproteic test.

  3. What are the limitations of Xanthoproteic test?

    A major limitation of Xanthoproteic test is phenylalanine never give a Xanthoproteic test positive.

  4. Why is glycine negative in Xanthoproteic test?

    As xanthoproteic test is only positive for aromatic amino acids; glycine is a non-aromatic amino acid; thus, glycine gives negative test in xanthoproteic test.

  5. What are the reagents used in Xanthoproteic test?

    Reagents and chemicals used in xanthoproteic test are 3 ml of test solution, 40% of NaOH solution, 1ml of conc. HNO3.