A recently discovered fossil resin from Koroglu Mountain in Turkey has been analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and pyrolysis gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to determine its structural class and botanical origin. The sesqui- and diterpenoids contained in the amber extract were used as chemosystematic markers when compared with terpenoids in extant conifers. The pyrolysis products were dominated by labdanoid derived bicyclic products together with succinic acid indicating Class Ia type amber. The biomarker compositions of the resin comprise mainly sesqui- and diterpenoids, and lack triterpenoids. This distribution suggests a gymnosperm, and more specifically a conifer source. The exclusive presence of abietane- and labdane-type diterpenoids together with the absence of phenolic diterpenoids strongly suggest that the resin was derived from Pinaceae. However, the presence of methyl-16,17-dinor callitrisate in the pyrolysate also suggests that Cupressaceae cannot be excluded as a possible source for the amber.
- Cretaceous amber