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C41 methyl and C42 ethyl alkenones are biomarkers for Group II Isochrysidales
Liao, S.; Yao, Y.; Wang, L.; Wang, K.J.; Amaral-Zettler, L.; Longo, W.M.; Huang, Y. (2020). C41 methyl and C42 ethyl alkenones are biomarkers for Group II Isochrysidales. Org. Geochem. 147: 104081.
In: Organic Geochemistry. Elsevier: Oxford; New York. ISSN 0146-6380; e-ISSN 1873-5290, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    C41 and C42 alkenones; Biomarkers; Isochrysidales; Culture Evolution; 18S rDNA

Authors  Top 
  • Liao, S.
  • Yao, Y.
  • Wang, L., more
  • Wang, K.J.
  • Amaral-Zettler, L., more
  • Longo, W.M.
  • Huang, Y.

    Alkenones are polyunsaturated long-chain methyl or ethyl ketones produced by species in the Isochrysidales, an order of haptophyte algae. Based on phylogenetic data, members of the Isochrysidales have been classified into three groups with each group showing significant differences in alkenone profiles and preferred growth environments. Common carbon chain lengths of alkenones range from 37 to 40. Extended C41 methyl (C41Me) and C42 ethyl (C42Et) alkenones have been reported in hypersaline lakes in China (Lake Alahake and Lake Balikun), Canada (Lake Snakehole) and marine sediments (e.g., ∼95 Ma in Blake-Bahama Basin). It is unclear, however, if these extended alkenones are produced by one or more groups of Isochrysidales. Here, we systematically examined alkenones from cultures of Group II (Isochrysis nuda, Isochrysis litoralis, Ruttnera lamellosa, Isochrysis galbana and Tisochrysis lutea) and Group III (Emiliania huxleyi and Gephyrocapsa oceanica) Isochrysidales and environmental samples of Group I Isochysidales. C41Me and C42Et alkenones were found in all Group II species with Isochrysis nuda producing the highest percentages, but not in alkenones produced by Group I nor Group III Isochrysidales. Our results indicate that extended C41Me and C42Et alkenones are specific biomarkers for Group II Isochrysidales. We also report the first temperature calibrations of alkenones for Isochrysis nuda and Isochrysis litoralis using culture experiments, and find temperatures inferred from extended alkenones in Balikun and Alahake surface sediments match warm-season temperatures based on Isochrysis nuda calibrations, which is further corroborated by genomic data indicating the dominance of Isochrysis nuda Isochrysidales..

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