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Attenuated Total Reflection (ATR) Micro-Fourier Transform Infrared (Micro-FT-IR) Spectroscopy to Enhance Repeatability and Reproducibility of Spectra Derived from Single Specimen Organic-Walled Dinoflagellate Cysts
Applied Spectroscopy  (IF2.388),  Pub Date : 2021-09-08, DOI: 10.1177/00037028211041172
Pjotr Meyvisch, Pieter R. Gurdebeke, Henk Vrielinck, Kenneth Neil Mertens, Gerard Versteegh, Stephen Louwye

The chemical composition of recent and fossil organic-walled dinoflagellate cyst walls and its diversity is poorly understood and analyses on single microscopic specimens are rare. A series of infrared spectroscopic experiments resulted in the proposition of a standardized attenuated total reflection micro-Fourier transform infrared-based method that allows the collection of robust data sets consisting of spectra from individual dinocysts. These data sets are largely devoid of nonchemical artifacts inherent to other infrared spectrochemical methods, which have typically been used to study similar specimens in the past. The influence of sample preparation, specimen morphology and size and spectral data processing steps is also assessed within this methodological framework. As a result, several guidelines are proposed which facilitate the collection and qualitative interpretation of highly reproducible and repeatable spectrochemical data. These, in turn, pave the way for a systematic exploration of dinocyst chemistry and its assessment as a chemotaxonomical tool or proxy.