Raman spectroscopy for future planetary exploration: photodegradation, self-absorption and quantification of carotenoids in microorganisms and mineral matrices

J.H. Hooijschuur, M.F.C. Verkaaik, G.R. Davies, F. Ariese

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Carotenoids are among the key biomarkers in the search for life on other planets, and non-destructive Raman spectroscopy on future rover missions is a potential sensitive detection method, especially under resonant conditions. In this research, reflectance spectra of minerals and microorganisms were measured using ultraviolet/visible diffuse reflectance spectroscopy in order to evaluate potential resonance Raman conditions and the possible degree of sample damage during laser irradiation. We report a photodegradation and semi-quantitative Raman study of β-carotene and the carotenoid-containing extremophile Deinococcus radiodurans mixed with calcite at excitation wavelengths of 440nm, 532nm and 785nm. A different type of carotenoid was detected in a culture of Chroococcidiopsis. Carotenoids embedded in bacterial membranes were found to be less sensitive to photodegradation than in a mineral matrix. Corrections for self-absorption effects were performed using the 1085cm
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)856-862
JournalJournal of Raman Spectroscopy
Volume46
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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