The carcinogenic compound ptaquiloside is produced by bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum L). Ptaquiloside can enter the soil matrix and potentially leach to the aquatic environment, and methods for characterizing ptaquiloside content and fate in soil and groundwater are needed. A sensitive detection method has been developed using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) for analyzing ptaquiloside and its transformation product pterosin B. Detection limits are 0.19μg/L (ptaquiloside) and 0.15 μg/L (pterosin B), which are 300-650 times better than previously published LC-UV methods. Sequential soil extractions are made using 5 mM ammonium acetate for extraction of ptaquiloside, followed by 80% methanol extraction for pterosin B. Groundwater samples are cleaned-up and preconcentrated by a factor of 20 using solid-phase extraction. The LC-MS/MS method enables quantification of ptaquiloside and pterosin B in soil and groundwater samples at environmentally relevant concentrations and delivers a reliable identification because of the structure-specific detection method.
- Bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum L. Kuhn)
- Natural toxins
- Soil extraction
- Solid-phase extraction
- Programme Area 2: Water Resources