Determination of superoxide in seawater using 2-methyl-6-(4-methoxyphenyl)-3,7- dihydroimidazo[1,2-a]pyrazin-3(7H)-one chemiluminescence

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Rose, AL, Moffett, JW & Waite, TD 2008, 'Determination of superoxide in seawater using 2-methyl-6-(4-methoxyphenyl)-3,7- dihydroimidazo[1,2-a]pyrazin-3(7H)-one chemiluminescence', Analytical Chemistry, vol. 80, no. 4, pp. 1215-1227.

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Superoxide, the one-electron reduced form of dioxygen, is known to be generated in marine environments by photochemical and biological processes. Because of its selective reaction with only a few commonly occurring compounds, superoxide is expected to approach concentrations in the high picomolar or low nanomolar range in seawater. Most currently existing methods do not have both the necessary sensitivity and selectivity to measure naturally occurring concentrations. In contrast, we demonstrate here that the chemiluminescence reagent 2-methyl-6-(4-methoxyphenyl)-3,7-dihydroimidazo[l,2-a]pyrazin-3(7H)-one (MCLA) is selective for superoxide in seawater and can be used with a detection limit of around 50 pM. Although a wide range of potential interferences were shown not to react with MCLA directly, some care must be taken when analyzing samples containing nanomolar concentrations of Fe(II), Cu(I), Mo(V), V(III), or V(IV), since these compounds can react with oxygen to produce superoxide during analysis that is subsequently detected. We describe two methods for calibrating the system, one employing photochemically generated superoxide standards and the other employing the superoxide-generating xanthine/xanthine oxidase system and discuss limitations on the use of each. The method was successfully used in the field to determine steady-state superoxide concentrations in the water column in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean.

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