Short-chain n-alkanes in benthic mats and mosses from the Larsemann Hills, East Antarctica

Subham Chatterjee, Supriyo Kumar Das*, Pravat Kumar Behera, Devanita Ghosh, Arindam Chakraborty, Priyank Pravin Patel, Minoru Ikehara

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Downloads (Pure)


Variation in leaf colour (green, red and grey) of mosses and lake benthic mats in Antarctica is often linked to water stress and ultraviolet light (UV-B) exposure. Changes in the abundance of organic compounds, such as pectin and phenols, are associated with mechanisms protecting against desiccation and UV radiation. However, the function of n-alkanes, especially against UV radiation, is rarely examined. Here, gas chromatography–mass spectrometry and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy analyses were performed to study the variation in n-alkanes in freshwater lake benthic mats and mosses collected from the Larsemann Hills in East Antarctica. Stable isotopes of organic carbon and nitrogen, environmental DNA characterisation and microscopy-based analyses are used to estimate the presence of cyanobacteria, algae and diatoms in moss and benthic mat consortia. Variation in the short-chain (n-C17 to n-C20) versus long-chain (n-C21 to n-C30) n-alkanes in the mosses and benthic mats with their colour were noted. The research links the relative abundance of short-chain n-alkanes to the UV-B exposure and proposes that Antarctic mosses and benthic mats synthesise short-chain n-alkanes for protection against UV-B.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104587
Number of pages14
JournalOrganic Geochemistry
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Antarctica
  • Benthic mat
  • Larsemann Hills
  • Moss
  • n-alkanes
  • Ultraviolet radiation


Dive into the research topics of 'Short-chain n-alkanes in benthic mats and mosses from the Larsemann Hills, East Antarctica'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this