, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 305-309

A new flow cytometry method enabling rapid purification of diatoms from silica-rich lacustrine sediments

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Abstract

Sub-fossil diatoms represent an important archive of past environmental change in both terrestrial and marine settings. In recent years the isotopic analysis of diatom frustules has developed into an important area of paleo-environmental research. The extraction and concentration of diatoms from marine and lake sediments has proven difficult, particularly in silica rich samples. Here we present a new method for the rapid extraction of diatom frustules from lacustrine sediment using flow cytometry. This new technique produces samples suitable for geochemical and isotope-based research with a high degree of purity over a much shorter time frame than existing techniques, hours rather than days.