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Analysis of archaeal core ether lipids using Time of Flight-Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS): Exploring a new prospect for the study of biomarkers in geobiology
YKI – Ytkemiska institutet.
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2007 (English)In: Geobiology, ISSN 1472-4677, E-ISSN 1472-4669, Vol. 5, no 1, 75-83 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The capability of Time of Flight-Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) of analysing molecular archaeal biomarkers in geobiological samples was tested and demonstrated. Using a bismuth cluster primary ion source, isopranyl glycerol di- and tetraether core lipids were detected in small amounts of total organic extracts from methanotrophic microbial mats, simultaneously and without further chemical treatment and chromatographic separation. ToF-SIMS was also employed to track the distribution of fossilized ether lipids in a massive carbonate (aragonite) microbialite that precipitated as a result of the microbial anaerobic oxidation of methane. An unambiguous signal was obtained when analysing a freshly broken rock surface (base of a microdrill core). Though some limitation occurred due to μm-topographical effects (sample roughness), it was possible to display the abundance of high molecular weight (C86) of tetraethers exposed in particular regions of the rock surface. 'Molecular mapping' revealed that a part of these molecules was encased within the rock fabric in a cluster-like distribution that might trace the arrangement of the calcifying microbial colonies in the once active mat system. The results reveal promising perspectives of ToF-SIMS for (i) the quasi-nondestructive analysis of lipids in extremely small geobiological samples at low concentrations; (ii) resolving the spatial distribution of these compounds on a μm2- to cm2-scale; and (iii) the more exact assignment of lipid biomarkers to their biological source. © 2006 The Authors.

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2007. Vol. 5, no 1, 75-83 p.
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Natural Sciences
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URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-26556OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-26556DiVA: diva2:1053559
Note
A3557Available from: 2016-12-08 Created: 2016-12-08Bibliographically approved

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