Measurement of archaeal and bacterial polar lipid biomarkers as a tool for paleoclimate reconstruction

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Ventura, G.T.; Stucker, V.K.; Vandergoes, M.J.; Moore, J.; Zink, K.G.; Dunbar, G.; Duncan, B.; McKay, R. 2016 Measurement of archaeal and bacterial polar lipid biomarkers as a tool for paleoclimate reconstruction. Lower Hutt, N.Z.: GNS Science. GNS Science science report 2016/34. v, 57 p.

Abstract : This report documents the method development and preliminary results for the isolation and analysis of bacterial and archaeal polar ether membrane lipids. These lipids are relatively ubiquitous and preserve well in most environments. They can therefore be used to extract environmental information from a range of geological archives such as soils, paleosols, and marine and lake sediments. These compounds are of interest in paleoclimatology because the ratios of these lipids provide quantitative temperature estimates to augment existing records or can be applied to obtain paleoclimate information from sedimentary archives that were previously not able to be analysed by traditional approaches. This project 1) developed the methods for extraction and separation of bacterial and archaeal polar ether lipid biomarkers from soils and sediments; 2) converted a Dionex ion chromatograph (IC), which is part of the Marine Geochemistry Laboratory, into a high pressure liquid chromatograph (HPLC) capable of analysing these compounds; 3) determined the instrumental sensitivity and linearity of the HPLC method; 4) implemented HPLC and mass spectrometric methods for the detection and quantification of bacterial and archaeal membrane lipids; and 5) used this capability, to produce glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraether (GDGT) lipid ratio data in the form of paleoclimate proxies such as MBT, CBT, and TEX86 . (auth)