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Environ Sci Technol. 2012 Jun 5;46(11):6088-95. doi: 10.1021/es203782j. Epub 2012 May 8.

Raman microspectroscopy-based identification of individual fungal spores as potential indicators of indoor contamination and moisture-related building damage.

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1
Environmental Health Laboratory Branch, California Department of Public Health, Richmond, California 94804, United States. Sutapa.Ghosal@cdph.ca.gov

Abstract

We present an application of Raman microspectroscopy (RMS) for the rapid characterization and identification of individual spores from several species of microfungi. The RMS-based methodology requires minimal sample preparation and small sample volumes for analyses. Hence, it is suitable for preserving sample integrity while providing micrometer-scale spatial resolution required for the characterization of individual cells. We present the acquisition of unique Raman spectral signatures from intact fungal spores dispersed on commercially available aluminum foil substrate. The RMS-based method has been used to compile a reference library of Raman spectra from several species of microfungi typically associated with damp indoor environments. The acquired reference spectral library has subsequently been used to identify individual microfungal spores through direct comparison of the spore Raman spectra with the reference spectral signatures in the library. Moreover, the distinct peak structures of Raman spectra provide detailed insight into the overall chemical composition of spores. We anticipate potential application of this methodology in the fields of public health, forensic sciences, and environmental microbiology.

PMID:
22533607
DOI:
10.1021/es203782j
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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