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Non-destructive analysis of pigments and other organic compounds in lichens using Fourier-transform Raman spectroscopy: a study of Antarctic epilithic lichens

Edwards, H.G.M.; Newton, E.M.; Wynn-Williams, D.D.; Smith, R.I.L.. 2003 Non-destructive analysis of pigments and other organic compounds in lichens using Fourier-transform Raman spectroscopy: a study of Antarctic epilithic lichens. Spectrochimica Acta Part A, 59 (10). 2301-2309. 10.1016/S1386-1425(03)00073-8

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Abstract/Summary

Lichens in Antarctic habitats are subjected to environmental extremes, including UVB radiation, desiccation and low temperatures, as well as to rapid fluctuations in these. Lichens synthesise a variety of chemical compounds in response to their environmental conditions which contribute towards their colour, and which act as protectants against physiological stresses. The fluorescence generated by the lichens at 532 nm can be used in epifluorescence microscopy to identify their presence on substrata but this can severely affect the Raman spectra using visible excitation. The advantage of the near infrared excitation used in FT-Raman spectroscopy in minimising fluorescence emission facilitates the molecular characterisation of lichen encrustations without having to remove the thallus from its substrate or remove or otherwise damage any part of the thallus. Spectroscopic biomarkers are proposed which allow the lichens to be characterised by the identification of characteristic lichen substances; the use of these biomarkers for the preliminary taxonomic identification of Antarctic lichens is examined and some potential pitfalls are described.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/S1386-1425(03)00073-8
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Antarctic Science in the Global Context (2000-2005) > Life at the Edge - Stresses and Thresholds
ISSN: 1386-1425
Additional Keywords: FT-Raman, Spectroscopy, Pigments, Epilithic lichens, Antarctic, Environmental stress
NORA Subject Terms: Botany
Date made live: 03 Apr 2012 10:05
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/17590

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