Diagnostic tool to ascertain marine phytoplankton exposure to chemically enhanced water accommodated fraction of oil using Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy. Academic Article uri icon


  • Phytoplankton alter their macromolecule composition in response to changing environmental conditions. Often these changes are consistent and can be used as indicators to predict their exposure to a given condition. FTIR-spectroscopy is a powerful tool that provides rapid snapshot of microbial samples. We used FTIR to develop signature macromolecular composition profiles of three cultures: Skeletonema costatum, Emiliania huxleyi, and Navicula sp., exposed to chemically enhanced water accommodated oil fraction (CEWAF) in artificial seawater and control. Using a multivariate model created with a Partial Least Square Discriminant Analysis of the FTIR-spectra, classification of CEWAF exposed versus control samples was possible. This model was validated using aggregate samples from a mesocosm study. Analysis of spectra and PCA-loadings plot showed changes to carbohydrates and proteins in response to CEWAF. Overall we developed a robust multivariate model that can be used to identify if a phytoplankton sample has been exposed to oil with dispersant.

published proceedings

  • Mar Pollut Bull

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Kamalanathan, M., Schwehr, K. A., Bretherton, L., Genzer, J., Hillhouse, J., Xu, C., ... Quigg, A.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Kamalanathan, Manoj||Schwehr, Kathleen A||Bretherton, Laura||Genzer, Jennifer||Hillhouse, Jessica||Xu, Chen||Williams, Alicia||Santschi, Peter||Quigg, Antonietta

publication date

  • May 2018