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Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 9:30 AM


O'MALLEY, Christina E., Department of Earth And Environmental Sciences, Wright State University, Brehm Lab 260, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy, Dayton, OH 45435, AUSICH, William I., School of Earth Sciences, The Ohio State University, 275 Mendenhall Lab, 125 S. Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210 and CHIN, Yu-Ping, School of Earth Sciences, The Ohio State University, 275 Mendenhall Laboratory, 125 South Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210-1308,

Organic molecules have been extracted directly from Paleozoic (Mississippian) crinoids that have retained some color differentiation as fossilized remains. The skeletal structure of crinoids is responsible for the preservation of ancient organic molecules and this structure is shared among other echinoderms. Extracts from Paleozoic echinoderms contain a mixture of molecules that are not easily separated. However, the PARAFAC methodology allows for identification of the most common components within this mixture by through analysis of an n-dimensional emission-excitation matrix that is reduced using a methodology similar to factor analysis. Parallel factor analysis (PARAFAC) was applied to extracts to investigate the composition of components of the extracts, and six components were found, including quinones. In so doing, aromatic hydrocarbon biomarker molecules were identified based on comparison to laboratory standards. Among others, hydroxy-anthroquinones were identified, which are molecules present in living echinoderms. These results suggest that preserved organic molecules may provide an independent method to unravel phylogenetic relationships among crinoids and, perhaps, other fossil organisms.
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