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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 35 No. 1, p. 82-86
    Received: Apr 17, 1970
    Accepted: Oct 16, 1970

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Adenosine Triphosphate in Lake Sediments: I. Determination1

  1. C. C. Lee,
  2. R. F. Harris,
  3. J. D. H. Williams,
  4. D. E. Armstrong and
  5. J. K. Syers2



A modification of the luciferin-luciferase bioluminescence technique was developed for determining adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in sediments. The method involves extraction with cold H2SO4, clean up with a cation exchange resin and use of living Aerobacter aerogenes cells as an internal standard to correct for incomplete ATP recovery from the sediments. ATP recovery ranged from 20 to 85%, was a characteristic, reproducible property of a given sediment, but was not related consistently to any other sediment property. The detection limits of the method were about 0.05 µg ATP/g oven dry sediment but were dependent on the recovery characteristic of the sediment and the amounts of bioluminescence-inhibitory solutes present in the extract used for final ATP analysis. Precision was low at ATP levels approaching the detection limit, primarily because of the high coefficient of variation shown at low ATP concentrations (about 3 × 10-10M for the instrumentation and luciferin-luciferase extracts used in this investigation). Theoretical considerations supported by preliminary experimental results indicate that the method should be applicable to soils as well as sediments. The ATP contents of nine sediment samples obtained from different lakes in Wisconsin ranged from 0.34 to 9.5 µg ATP/g sediment.

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