Alta diversidade molecular de matéria orgânica extraterrestre no meteorito de Murchison revelada após 40 anos de sua queda

segunda-feira, fevereiro 22, 2010

High molecular diversity of extraterrestrial organic matter in Murchison meteorite revealed 40 years after its fall

Philippe Schmitt-Kopplin a,1,2, Zelimir Gabelic ab,1, Régis D. Gougeon c,1, Agnes Fekete a,
Basem Kanawati a,  Mourad Harir a, Istvan Gebefuegi a, Gerhard Eckel d, and Norbert Hertkorn a,1

-Author Affiliations

aHelmholtz-Zentrum Muenchen-German Research Center for Environmental Health, Institute for Ecological Chemistry, Ingolstaedter Landstrasse 1, D-85764 Oberschleißheim, Germany

bUniversité de Haute Alsace, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Mulhouse, Laboratoire Propre Intégré–Groupe Sécurité et Ecologie Chimiques, 3 Rue Alfred Werner, F-68093 Mulhouse Cedex, France

cEquipe Eau, Molécules actives, Macromolécules, Activité (EMMA) EA 581, Institut Jules Guyot, Université de Bourgogne, Rue Claude Ladrey, F-21078 Dijon, France

dInstitute of Electronic Music and Acoustics, University of Music and Performing Arts, Inffeldgasse 10/3, A-8010 Graz, Austria

Edited* by Jerrold Meinwald, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, and approved December 28, 2009 (received for review October 21, 2009).

↵1P.S.-K., Z.G., R.D.G., and N.H. contributed equally to this work.


Numerous descriptions of organic molecules present in the Murchison meteorite have improved our understanding of the early interstellar chemistry that operated at or just before the birth of our solar system. However, all molecular analyses were so far targeted toward selected classes of compounds with a particular emphasis on biologically active components in the context of prebiotic chemistry. Here we demonstrate that a nontargeted ultrahigh-resolution molecular analysis of the solvent-accessible organic fraction of Murchison extracted under mild conditions allows one to extend its indigenous chemical diversity to tens of thousands of different molecular compositions and likely millions of diverse structures. This molecular complexity, which provides hints on heteroatoms chronological assembly, suggests that the extraterrestrial chemodiversity is high compared to terrestrial relevant biological- and biogeochemical-driven chemical space.

Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry interstellar chemistry nuclear magnetic  resonance spectroscopy organic chondrite soluble organic matter


2To whom correspondence should be addressed: E-mail:

Author contributions: P.S.-K. designed research; P.S.-K., Z.G., R.D.G., and N.H. performed research; P.S.-K., A.F., B.K., M.H., I.G., G.E., and N.H. contributed new reagents/analytic tools; P.S.-K., Z.G., R.D.G., A.F., B.K., M.H., I.G., G.E., and N.H. analyzed data; P.S.-K., Z.G., R.D.G., and N.H. wrote the paper; and P.S.-K. and R.D.G. initiated research.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

*This Direct Submission article had a prearranged editor.

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