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Abstract

Atmospheric pressure chemical ionisation liquid chromatography/multi-stage ion trap mass spectrometry (APCI-LC/MSn) has been applied to the study of intact bacteriohopanepolyols. Spectral characterisation of bacteriohopanepolyols of known structure present in bacterial extracts (Zymomonas mobilis and a fermenter containing methanotrophs including Methylococcus capsulatus) has revealed greater structural detail than previous liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) methods and identified characteristic fragmentations indicative of numerous biohopanoid structures. Analysis of a Recent sedimentary extract from Lake Druzhby (Antarctica) has demonstrated the power of this technique to detect biohopanoids in complex samples including at least partial characterisation of previously unknown composite structures. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.