The distinctive color of phycobiliproteins comes from their conjugated protein-pigment complexes, which can absorb specific
wavelengths of light. The color and type of phycobiliprotein predominant in a specific algae species is often adapted to the
light conditions of their environment. For example, red algae living at greater depths where blue light is most available
will often have a higher concentration of phycoerythrin, which can effectively absorb this blue light.
Beyond their role in photosynthesis, phycobiliproteins have found use in various applications due to their fluorescence properties
and abilities to form stable complexes. They are used as fluorescent tags in biological research, in immunoassays, and in flow cytometry,
among other applications. They are also investigated for their potential health benefits, such as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.