The fundamentally diverse vertebrate pigment cells, melanophores, xanthophores, and iridophores, contain pigmentary organelles known, respectively, as melanosomes, pterinosomes, and reflecting platelets. Their pigments are mealanins pteridines, and purines. Mosaic pigment cells containing more than one type of organelle have been observed and mosaic organelles containing more than one type of pigment have been discovered. It is proposed that the various pigment cells are derived from a stem cell that contains a primordial organelle of endoplasmic reticular origin. This primordial organelle can differentiate into any of the known pigmentary organelles.

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