5 years ago

Fast, sensitive, and selective gas chromatography tandem mass spectrometry method for the target analysis of chemical secretions from femoral glands in lizards

Chemical signaling is a widespread mode of communication among living organisms that is used to establish social organization, territoriality and/or for mate choice. In lizards, femoral and precloacal glands are important sources of chemical signals. These glands protrude chemical secretions used to mark territories and also, to provide valuable information from the bearer to other individuals. Ecologists have studied these chemical secretions for decades in order to increase the knowledge of chemical communication in lizards. Although several studies have focused on the chemical analysis of these secretions, there is a lack of faster, more sensitive and more selective analytical methodologies for their study. In this work a new GC coupled to tandem triple quadrupole MS (GC-QqQ (MS/MS)) methodology is developed and proposed for the target study of 12 relevant compounds often found in lizard secretions (i.e. 1-hexadecanol, palmitic acid, 1-octadecanol, oleic acid, stearic acid, 1-tetracosanol, squalene, cholesta-3,5-diene, α-tocopherol, cholesterol, ergosterol and campesterol). The method baseline-separated the analytes in less than 7min, with instrumental limits of detection ranging from 0.04 to 6.0ng/mL. It was possible to identify differences in the composition of the samples from the lizards analyzed, which depended on the species, the habitat occupied and the diet of the individuals. Moreover, α-tocopherol has been determined for the first time in a lizard species, which was thought to lack its expression in chemical secretions. Globally, the methodology has been proven to be a valuable alternative to other published methods with important improvements in terms of analysis time, sensitivity, and selectivity.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0021967317310695

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