A method of simultaneously measuring glucosamine and muramic acid concentrations in marsh grass litter was developed. Spartina alterniflora samples were preextracted with acetone to remove lipids containing amino sugars and then hydrolyzed in 6 n HCl (100°C, 4.5 h). Amino sugars in the hydrolysates were isolated by ion-exchange chromatography, which gave good recoveries (>90%) and reproducibility (CV <5%). Isolated amino sugars were converted to O-methyloxime acetates. β-Phenylglucose and N-methylglucamine were added as internal standards. Sample derivatives were quantified by capillary column gas chromatography. OV-101 and SE-54 capillary columns completely separated glucosamine and muramic acid from other amino sugars. The detection limit of glucosamine and muramic acid during gas chromatographic analysis was below 30 pmol using splitless-mode injection (SE-54 column). Filamentous fungal and procaryotic biomasses may be estimated simultaneously by using glucosamine and muramic acid biomass conversion factors in conjunction with this method.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank Lorene C&assert for drafting the illustrations. This work was sponsored by the Georgia Sea Grant Program and supported by the NOAA Office of Sea Grant, Department of Commerce, under Grant NA 79AA-D-00123. Additional support was provided to the senior author by NIH Grant AM 27304, the University of Georgia Okefenokee Swamp Ecosystem Investigations, under NSF Grant DEB-79-22633, and by a Grant-in-Aid of Research from the Sigma Xi Society. This is Contribution 47 1 of the University of Georgia Marine Institute.