LC-ICP-MS analysis of inositol phosphate isomers in soil offers improved sensitivity and fine‐scale mapping of inositol phosphate distribution

Joseph J. Carroll, Colleen Sprigg, Graham Chilvers, Ignacio Delso, Megan Barker, Filipa Cox, David Johnson, Charles A. Brearley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


1. Organic forms of phosphorus (P) prevail in soils and their quantification is vital to better understand global biogeochemical cycles. P speciation in soil is commonly assessed by 31P NMR spectroscopy of sodium hydroxide-EDTA (NaOH-EDTA) extracts.
3. A liquid chromatography-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LC-ICP-MS) method that employs NaOH-EDTA is described.
3. Comparison with 31P NMR shows that LC-ICP-MS is up to three orders of magnitude more sensitive. It allows measurement in samples as small as 1 mg. We reveal variation of inositol phosphate distribution in Swedish boreal forest soil and identify myo- and scyllo-inositol hexakisphosphates and other isomers including scyllo-inositol pentakisphosphate.
4. Speciation of the major inositol phosphates was not altered by long-term nitrogen fertilization.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMethods in Ecology and Evolution
Early online date4 Feb 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Feb 2024


  • inositol phosphate isomers
  • nitrogen fertilization
  • phosphorus speciation
  • phytate
  • soil 31P NMR

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