Converting A/I values (ion exchange) to D/L values (reverse phase) for amino acid geochronology

Katherine E. Whitacre, Darrell S. Kaufman*, Matthew A. Kosnik, Paul J. Hearty

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    Several analytical techniques have been used in amino acid geochronology to measure the relative abundances of D- and L-enantiomers. During the past two decades, reverse-phase (RP) liquid chromatography has become most common, whereas ion-exchange (IE) liquid chromatography was widely used prior to the mid-1990s. This study is based on intra-lab paired analyses of RP and IE liquid chromatography to mathematically convert A/I (allo-isoleucine:isoleucine) values determined with IE to corresponding D/L values for comparison with new RP results. Pooled results of 340 paired IE and RP analyses show that A/I values can be confidently converted to equivalent D/L values for aspartic acid, glutamic acid, alanine, valine and isoleucine, with 2σ uncertainties of ±24–41% depending on the amino acid. For specific sample types including gastropod, bivalve, eggshell and whole rock, A/I can readily be converted to D/L aspartic acid and D/L glutamic acid with 2σ uncertainties of ±20% and 26%, respectively, using sample-type-specific relations. A/I is also reliably converted to D/L valine and D/L isoleucine with 2σ uncertainties of ±31 and 35%, respectively. Regression equations are provided to convert A/I to an equivalent D/L value for five amino acids, thereby enabling the large literature base of AAR results from IE chromatography to be compared and integrated with AAR results from RP chromatography.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-6
    Number of pages6
    JournalQuaternary Geochronology
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


    • Amino acid racemization
    • Isoleucine epimerization
    • Quaternary geochronology


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