Copepod Fecal Pellets as a Source of Dihydrophytol in Marine Sediments

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Science  15 Jun 1984:
Vol. 224, Issue 4654, pp. 1235-1237
DOI: 10.1126/science.224.4654.1235


Dihydrophytol(3,7,11,15-tetramethylhexadecanol) was identified in the nonsaponified lipid fraction of fecal pellets from the copepod Calanus helgolandicus fed in the laboratory on a unialgal diet. Direct deposition in the fecal pellets of certain zooplankton species may explain the presence of dihydrophytol in marine sediments. Microbial reduction of phytol in sediment cores does not account for the origin of this compound in all sedimentary environments.