The sources of melanin and the sorts of melanin are introduced. New techniques for extraction and analysis of natural melanin were introduced. New analytical techniques are high performance liquid chromatography, high-speed countercurrent chromatography, high performance capillary electrophoresis and chromatography-mass spectrometry. The relationship of polyketide melanogenesis molecular biology to that of nonmelanin-producing pathways in a wide range of fungi and other organisms is discussed. The applications of melanin are introduced.