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High-performance liquid chromatographic determination of 2-aminoethylphosphonic acid and 2-amino-3-phosphonopropionic acid in seawater matrix using precolumn fluorescence derivatization with o-phthalaldehyde-ethanethiol A

Wang, Shu, Deng, Yao, Liu, Baomin, Li, Xiaolin, Lin, Xin, Yuan, Dongxing, Ma, Jian
Journal of chromatography 2018 v.1571 pp. 147-154
algae culture, ammonium acetate, culture media, derivatization, detection limit, fluorescence, high performance liquid chromatography, monitoring, pH, phosphonates, phosphorus, phytoplankton, salinity, seawater, statistical analysis, wavelengths
2-Aminoethylphosphonic acid (2-AEP) and 2-amino-3-phosphonopropionic acid (2-AP3) are two types of abundant and ubiquitous naturally occurring phosphonates used as sources of phosphorus by many prokaryotic lineages. The potential utilization mechanism of 2-AEP and 2-AP3 in eukaryotic phytoplankton is currently under investigation. However, the lack of suitable analytical methods in saline samples are the limitation of such researches. Herein, a high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method for monitoring 2-AEP and 2-AP3 using precolumn fluorescence derivatization with o-phthalaldehyde-ethanethiol (OPA-ET) in seawater matrix was developed. The derivatization procedure and HPLC conditions were carefully examined, which included optimization of the fluorescence excitation and emission wavelengths, the ammonium acetate concentration and pH of the mobile phase, the OPA-ET reagent content and composition and derivatization time. Because increasing salinity was observed to lower the derivatization efficiency, working standards were freshly prepared in artificial seawater with the same salinity as that of the samples for the quantification of 2-AEP and 2-AP3. The developed HPLC method showed a wide linear response with high linearity (R² > 0.999) and high repeatability at three concentration levels. The relative standard deviation was less than 4.1% for 2-AEP and less than 1.7% for 2-AP3 (n = 7). The limits of detection for 2-AEP and 2-AP3 in artificial seawater matrix were both 12.0 μg/L. The recoveries were 83.0–104% for 2-AEP and 72.6–98.6% for 2-AP3 in different aqueous samples, including algal culture medium prepared with filtered seawater. These results indicated the matrix effect of this method was insignificant.