Spectrochromatography of photosynthetic pigments as a fingerprinting technique for microbial phototrophs


*Corresponding author. Tel: +45 66 15 86 00; Fax: +45 65 93 03 52; E-mail: fot@dou.dk


Abstract: The combination of chromatographic separation using reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography and continuous monitoring of the column eluate using a diode-array spectrophotometer allowed qualitative and quantitative pigment profiling of extracts of photosynthetic material in a single run. Carotenoids and the spectrally distinct types of chlorophyll and bacteriochlorophyll can be unambiguously identified even when imperfectly separated on the column. The resulting spectrochromatogram is a fingerprint useful for the rapid characterization of pure cultures or mixed populations. We have developed software to allow recording, manipulation, and presentation of the resulting spectrochromatograms and present results from photosynthetic microbes in pure and mixed cultures. We describe a number of approaches to the presentation of the resulting data in a readily comprehensible form.