Sterol compositions for three diatom species, recently shown to contain sterols with side chains typically found in dinoflagellates, were determined by HPLC and ¹H NMR spectroscopic analyses. The centric diatom Triceratium dubium (=Biddulphia sp., CCMP 147) contained the highest percentage of 23-methylated sterols (37.2% (24R)-23-methylergosta-5,22-dienol), whereas the pennate diatom Delphineis sp. (CCMP 1095) contained the cyclopropyl sterol gorgosterol, as well as the 27-norsterol occelasterol. The sterol composition of Ditylum brightwellii (CCMP 358) was the most complex, containing Δ⁰- and Δ⁷-sterols, in addition to the predominant Δ⁵-sterols. A pair of previously unknown sterols, stigmasta-5,24,28-trienol and stigmasta-24,28-dienol, were detected in D. brightwellii and their structures were determined by NMR spectroscopic analysis and by synthesis of the former sterol from saringosterol. Also detected in D. brightwellii was the previously unknown 23-methylcholesta-7,22-dienol.
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