Use of solid-phase extraction to enable enhanced detection of acyl homoserine lactones (AHLs) in environmental samples
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- Schupp, P.J., Charlton, T.S., Taylor, M.W. et al. Anal Bioanal Chem (2005) 383: 132. doi:10.1007/s00216-005-3387-x
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A challenge for understanding the role of bacterial cell–cell signalling in the environment is the detection of those signals, which are often present in low (nmol L−1) concentrations. We describe here a simple purification method, solid-phase extraction (SPE), for increasing the sensitivity of detection for one such group of signals, acyl homoserine lactones (AHLs), in environmental samples. Spiking of dried marine sponge tissue (Stylinos sp.) with AHLs resulted in detection down to 0.01 ppm for 3-oxo-hexanoyl homoserine lactone (3-oxo C6-HSL) and 1 ppm for hexanoyl homoserine lactone (C6-HSL). Compared with liquid extraction methods use of SPE resulted in twofold and tenfold improvements in sensitivity, respectively.