Ten bacterial strains were analyzed using a quartz tube pyrolysis-gas chromatography/ion trap mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS) system. Microgram amounts of bacteria were introduced directly into the instrument using a commercially available pyrolysis unit. The pyrolysis tube was heated to 1OOO°C in an inert helium atmosphere, and the thermally induced degradation products were separated on a short capillary column with detection by an ion trap mass spectrometer. The total analysis time, including sample preparation and introduction, was under 10 min. Bacteria were differentiated by a visual comparison of pyrolytic patterns of their lipid components in their total ion chromatograms. Additional information was provided by the various analytical dimensions in the GC and MS domains. By comparison with fatty acid methyl ester analysis and other chemotaxonomic-based differentiation schemes, this technique should be widely applicable to the detection and identification of most microorganisms.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)