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Rapid structural elucidation of composite bacterial hopanoids by atmospheric pressure chemical ionisation liquid chromatography/ion trap mass spectrometry

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Helen Talbot, Dr Paul Farrimond


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Bacteriohopanepolyols (BHPs) are membrane lipids produced by a wide range of eubacteria. Their use, however, as molecular markers of bacterial populations and processes has until recently been hampered by the lack of a suitable rapid method for fingerprinting their composition in complex environmental matrices. New analytical procedures employing ion trap mass spectrometry now allow us to investigate the occurrence of BHPs in diverse biological and environmental samples including bacterial cultures, soils, and recent and ancient sediments. Here, we describe the structural characterisation using atmospheric pressure chemical ionisation liquid chromatography/ion trap mass spectrometry (APCI-LC/MSn) of a number of previously identified but less commonly occurring BHPs such as adenosylhopane and ribonylhopane. Many of the structures described here have previously only been reported in one or just a small number of cultured organisms having been isolated from large amounts of cellular mass (4-26 g) and identified by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques after purification of individual compounds. Now, having established characteristic APCI fragmentation patterns, it is possible to rapidly screen many more bacterial cultures using only small amounts of material (<50 mg) as well as environmental samples for these atypical structures and a rapidly growing suite of novel structures. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Talbot HM, Rohmer M, Farrimond P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry

Year: 2007

Volume: 21

Issue: 6

Pages: 880-892

ISSN (print): 0951-4198

ISSN (electronic): 1097-0231

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


DOI: 10.1002/rcm.2911

PubMed id: 17294511


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