A critical assessment of the analysis and distributions of scytonemin and related UV screening pigments in sediments
High performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry has been used to identify the cyanophyta-derived ultraviolet screening pigment scytonemin and its reduced counterpart in an Antarctic lake sediment. The formation of an artefact during the analysis has been demonstrated, enabling the recovery of improved estimates of the scytonemin and reduced scytonemin signals. The overall pigment composition records a primary producer community comprising both oxygenic and anoxygenic photoautotrophs, with variations in the abundance of scytonemin relative to the chlorophylls and carotenoids that are consistent with changes in response to variations in the light regime over time.
Authors: Squier, Angela H., Hodgson, Dominic A., Keely, Brendan J.