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Biomolecules 2018, 8(4), 154; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom8040154

Squalene Found in Alpine Grassland Soils under a Harsh Environment in the Tibetan Plateau, China

1
Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China
2
Key Laboratory of Mountain Surface Processes and Ecological Regulation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China
3
College of Tourism, Henan Normal University, Xinxiang 453007, China
4
Wuhan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430074, China
5
Ecological Monitoring & Research Center, Tibetan Environment Monitoring Station, Lhasa 850000, China
6
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 October 2018 / Revised: 1 November 2018 / Accepted: 14 November 2018 / Published: 20 November 2018
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Abstract

Squalene is found in a large number of plants, animals, and microorganisms, as well as other sources, playing an important role as an intermediate in sterol biosynthesis. It is used widely in the food, cosmetics, and medicine industries because of its antioxidant, antistatic, and anti-carcinogenic properties. A higher natural squalene component of lipids is usually reported as being isolated to organisms living in harsh environments. In the Tibetan Plateau, which is characterized by high altitude, strong solar radiation, drought, low temperatures, and thin air, the squalene component was identified in five alpine grasslands soils using the pyrolysis gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS) technique. The relative abundance of squalene ranged from 0.93% to 10.66% in soils from the five alpine grasslands, with the highest value found in alpine desert and the lowest in alpine meadow. Furthermore, the relative abundance of squalene in alpine grassland soils was significantly negatively associated with soil chemical/microbial characteristics. These results indicate that the extreme environmental conditions of the Tibetan Plateau may stimulate the microbial biosynthesis of squalene, and the harsher the environment, the higher the relative abundance of soil squalene. View Full-Text
Keywords: squalene; alpine grassland; Py-GC/MS; soil microorganism; Tibetan Plateau squalene; alpine grassland; Py-GC/MS; soil microorganism; Tibetan Plateau
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Lu, X.; Ma, S.; Chen, Y.; Yangzom, D.; Jiang, H. Squalene Found in Alpine Grassland Soils under a Harsh Environment in the Tibetan Plateau, China. Biomolecules 2018, 8, 154.

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