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dc.contributor.authorVarnali, T.*
dc.contributor.authorEdwards, Howell G.M.*
dc.date.accessioned2016-11-23T17:55:58Z
dc.date.available2016-11-23T17:55:58Z
dc.date.issued2014-12-13
dc.identifier.citationVarnali T and Edwards HG (2014) Raman spectroscopic identification of scytonemin and its derivatives as key biomarkers in stressed environments. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A. 372(2030): 20140197.
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10454/10547
dc.descriptionNo
dc.description.abstractRaman spectroscopy has been identified as an important first-pass analytical technique for deployment on planetary surfaces as part of a suite of instrumentation in projected remote space exploration missions to detect extant or extinct extraterrestrial life signatures. Aside from the demonstrable advantages of a non-destructive sampling procedure and an ability to record simultaneously the molecular signatures of biological, geobiological and geological components in admixture in the geological record, the interrogation and subsequent interpretation of spectroscopic data from these experiments will be critically dependent upon the recognition of key biomolecular markers indicative of life existing or having once existed in extreme habitats. A comparison made with the characteristic Raman spectral wavenumbers obtained from standards is not acceptable because of shifts that can occur in the presence of other biomolecules and their host mineral matrices. In this paper, we identify the major sources of difficulty experienced in the interpretation of spectroscopic data centring on a key family of biomarker molecules, namely scytonemin and its derivatives; the parent scytonemin has been characterized spectroscopically in cyanobacterial colonies inhabiting some of the most extreme terrestrial environments and, with the support of theoretical calculations, spectra have been predicted for the characterization of several of its derivatives which could occur in novel extraterrestrial environments. This work will form the foundation for the identification of novel biomarkers and for their Raman spectroscopic discrimination, an essential step in the interpretation of potentially complex and hitherto unknown biological radiation protectants based on the scytoneman and scytonin molecular skeletons which may exist in niche geological scenarios in the surface and subsurface of planets and their satellites in our Solar System.
dc.relation.isreferencedbyhttps://doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2014.0197
dc.subjectRaman spectroscopy; Biomolecular life signature; Experimental spectral databases; Extreme environment; Scytonemin; Theoretical spectral prediction
dc.titleRaman spectroscopic identification of scytonemin and its derivatives as key biomarkers in stressed environments
dc.status.refereedYes
dc.date.application2014-11-03
dc.typeArticle
dc.type.versionNo full-text available in the repository


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