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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Evaluation of the Mass Spectral Analysis of Soil Inositol, Inositol Phosphates, and Related Compounds1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 40 No. 5, p. 672-678
    Received: Mar 15, 1976
    Accepted: May 17, 1976

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  1. Michael F. L'Annunziata and
  2. Wallace H. Fuller2



The potential of mass spectrometry in the structure analysis of soil inositol, inositol phosphate carbon, and soil microbial metabolites was evaluated. Mass spectra of myo-inositol (I) isolated from the organic phosphate fraction of a forest soil, quebrachitol (II), myo-Inositol hexaacetate (III), d,l-epi-inosose (IV), and of compounds I and II labeled with deuterium in the hydroxyl groups were determined. Intense fragment ion spectral peaks at mass/charge (m/e) 60, 73, and 102 were common to each of the natural occurring cyclitol structures studied. Structural variations of inositol were found to be identifiable by peak shifts from m/e 60, 73, and 102 to other m/e values as due to attached groups or to other carbon oxidation states. An exchange of the hydroxyl protons with deuterium permitted the determination of the number of hydroxyl groups on a given mass spectral ion fragment and supplied evidence for the presence of attached groups. Studies dealing with phosphated compounds in soils required a hydrolysis of the phosphate esters prior to the mass spectral analysis. The mass spectral analysis was found most useful for the identification of cyclitol structures in soil, microbial, and plant metabolism studies when the sample size is limited to microgram quantities.

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