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Critical Assessment of Glyco- and Phospholipid Separation by Using Silica Chromatography
Heinzelmann, S.M.; Bale, N.J.; Hopmans, E.C.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Schouten, S.; van der Meer, M.T.J. (2014). Critical Assessment of Glyco- and Phospholipid Separation by Using Silica Chromatography. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 80(1): 360-365. dx.doi.org/10.1128/AEM.02817-13
In: Applied and Environmental Microbiology. American Society for Microbiology: Washington. ISSN 0099-2240, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Heinzelmann, S.M., more
  • Bale, N.J., more
  • Hopmans, E.C., more
  • Sinninghe Damsté, J.S., more
  • Schouten, S., more
  • van der Meer, M.T.J., more

Abstract
    Phospholipid-derived fatty acids (PLFAs) are commonly used to characterize microbial communities in situ and the phylogenetic positions of newly isolated microorganisms. PLFAs are obtained through separation of phospholipids from glycolipids and neutral lipids using silica column chromatography. We evaluated the performance of this separation method for the first time using direct detection of intact polar lipids (IPLs) with high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS). We show that under either standard or modified conditions, the phospholipid fraction contains not only phospholipids but also other lipid classes such as glycolipids, betaine lipids, and sulfoquinovosyldiacylglycerols. Thus, commonly reported PLFA compositions likely are not derived purely from phospholipids and perhaps may not be representative of fatty acids present in living microbes.

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