DCO Project Summary

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Project Title
Establishing a Platform to Assess Bacterial Endospore Abundance in the Deep Biosphere by Quantification of the Sporulation-Related Molecule Dipicolinic Acid
Start DateEnd Date
2014-03-01 2014-08-30
NameRoleInstitutionDCO ID
Related GrantsDCO ID
11121/3468-1369-5510-9075-CC
Description
This project will develop novel technology for life detection in deep sediments by supplying the Deep Life Community (DLC) with a platform to address one of the stated goals of DLC, the quantification of spores vs. vegetative cells, by accurate chemical detection of the sporulation-related molecule dipicolinic acid (DPA).
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Reporting Year 2014 Click to expand


  • RY2014-1 - submitted on Aug 31, 2014

    Update Details:

    Significant advances have been achieved in the implementation of a method for quantification of the sporulation-related molecule dipicolinic acid (DPA). Analytical infrastructure (Thermo FLD-3400 Fluorescence Detector) has been acquired and installed. Excitation and emission spectra have been recorded for both the DPA-Tb complex and for free Tb3+ and optimum detection parameters have been established for both compounds. The implementation of the chromatographic method by Lomstein and Jørgensen (2012) was not completely satisfying, as retention of the DPA-Tb complex on the column is extremely poor. The need for increased retention could not be achieved by the tested HILIC methods or the use of different RP columns, not even the ones especially suited for strongly polar compounds (e.g., Thermo Hypercarb). Satisfying results have finally been obtained by coupling of two RP columns. Current efforts are demonstrating that Tb3+ concentration needs to be higher than previously reported to guarantee both low detection limits and a linear fluorescence response over a wide range of DPA concentrations. Once these molecular ratios of DPA: Tb3+ are optimized, analysis of an initial set of sediment samples retrieved during the ERC project DARCLIFE will begin and serve both as a proof of concept and a first step to constrain the factors controlling endospore distribution.
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