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Molecular-level evidence of early lipid transformations throughout oceanic depths

Gašparović, Blaženka; Lampitt, Richard S.; Sudasinghe, Nilusha; Schaub, Tanner (2023) Molecular-level evidence of early lipid transformations throughout oceanic depths. Geochimica et cosmochimica acta, 343 . pp. 49-63. ISSN 0016-7037

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Our understanding of lipid biogeochemistry of the ocean’s interior is still in its infancy. Here we focus on early lipid transformation and the formation of lipid degradation products in the NE Atlantic Ocean (49.0°N, 16.5°W). We employed high resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS), a method that allows observation and elemental composition assignment of thousands of lipids in a single sample. Using these data, we infer molecular-level changes that occur during lipid transformation in the oceanic water column to shed new light on early lipid transformation processes and the formation of lipid decomposition intermediates, here termed CHO compounds (i.e., lipid-derived species that contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen in their molecular formula). We considered the distribution of molecular rings and/or double bonds (DBE), H/C and O/C ratios, molecular diversity based on the number of mass spectral signals for monoisotopic species, and carbon number in CHO molecules. Data are elaborated for the four ocean zones, the epipelagic, mesopelagic, bathypelagic and abyssal. The highest molecular diversity characterizes CHO compounds associated with the epipelagic zone, which is explained by numerous and diverse planktonic communities inhabiting the epipelagic and by the effects of both biotic and abiotic processes on lipid transformation. Lipid transformations include crosslinking (condensation), partial degradation or fragmentation, double bond reduction, oxidation, hydrogenation, dehydrogenation and cyclization. Crosslinking likely results in a unimodal distribution of carbon number of CHO compounds, in contrast to cell lipids (referred to as Reported lipids based on the Lipid Maps Database), which have a bimodal distribution of carbon number. CHO compounds that appear to be formed by fragmentation (decrease of the number of C atoms) and ring/double bond reduction were more stable to further transformation and remained longer in the water column, i.e., these compounds were transferred deeper into the water column. Low unsaturation and fast transport to depth promotes CHO compound preservation in the water column. Dehydrogenation leads to increased desaturation (average DBE up to 21.3), condensation, and cyclization, resulting in high molecular weight compounds with a high degree of unsaturation. Our data demonstrate that lipids with cyclic structures are more refractory than those with acyclic structures. The formation of aromatic structures is not a significant process during early lipid transformation in the oceanic water column.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: lipidomics ; lipid transformation pathways ; NE Atlantic Ocean ; epipelagic ; mesopelagic ; bathypelagi c ; abyssa l ; FT-ICR MS
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Interdisciplinary Natural Sciences
NATURAL SCIENCES > Interdisciplinary Natural Sciences > Marine Science
Divisions: Division for Marine and Enviromental Research
Project titleProject leaderProject codeProject type
Utjecaj okolišnog stresa na pojavnost i međudjelovanje biološki važnih organskih molekula i mikronutrijenata u morskom ekosustavuGašparović, BlaženkaIP-2013-11-8607HRZZ
Depositing User: Blaženka Gašparović
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2023 14:08
DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2022.12.021

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