Improved detection of polyunsaturated fatty acids as phenacyl esters using liquid chromatography-ion trap mass spectrometry
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Nichols, DS and Davies, NW, Improved detection of polyunsaturated fatty acids as phenacyl esters using liquid chromatography-ion trap mass spectrometry, Journal of Microbiological Methods, 50, (2) pp. 103-113. ISSN 0167-7012 (2002) [Refereed Article]
The fatty acid composition of Shewanella pealeana was determined by the analysis of fatty acid methyl esters via gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and fatty acid 2-oxo-phenylethyl esters via high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) combined with ultra violet (UV) detection. There was good agreement between the percentage composition of components determined by GC-MS and LC-UV analyses. However, LC-MS analysis using Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionization (APCI) demonstrated dramatically enhanced detection of unsaturated fatty acid 2-oxo-phenylethyl esters. The degree of enhancement was proportional to the degree of unsaturation. Tests with a pure polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) standard gave an absolute detection limit in full scan mode of 200 pg. In samples, the selectivity of MS over UV gave a significantly lower detection limit due to lack of chemical interferences. In 'Selected Reaction Monitoring' (SRM) mode, the detection limit was 5 pg. This was essentially independent of whether the sample is a standard or complex mixture of fatty acids. Tandem mass spectrometry was used to support structural information and to enhance the ability to target specific fatty acids. Several PUFAs which were not evident from GC-MS analysis were detected and identified by APCI LC-MS, including some rare or novel PUFAs from S. pealeana and a menhaden oil standard. Detailed analysis of bacterial fatty acid composition by either GC-MS or APCI LC-MS is highly preferable to analysis systems based solely on retention time identification. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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