Isoprenoid Acids in Recent Sediments

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  15 Dec 1967:
Vol. 158, Issue 3807, pp. 1463-1464
DOI: 10.1126/science.158.3807.1463


Phytanic acid, pristanic acid, and 4,8,12-trimethyltridecanoic acid have been isolated from three recent marine sediments. The ratio of palmitic to pristanic acid is similar to that encountered in typical marine lipids. This suggests a biochemical origin of these sedimentary acids; phytol is their presumed biochemical precursor. Other isoprenoid acids between C11 and C22 which are common in ancient sediments have not been found. They are probably geochemical products formed slowly and at a greater depth.