Frigo, S. P., McNulty, I., Richmond, R. C. and Ehret, C. Photoabsorption Study of Bacillus megaterium, DNA and Related Biological Materials in the Phosphorus K-Shell Edge Region. Radiat. Res. 162, 464–468 (2004).

We measured the X-ray transmission spectra of several biologically related samples in the phosphorus K-shell edge absorption region. These include red phosphorus, hydrated sodium phosphate (Na3PO4·12 H2O), deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), adenosine triphosphate (ATP), diolylphosphatidyl choline (DOPC), and Bacillus megaterium spores. Red phosphorus essentially displays an edge-jump. All other spectra are similar in form and energy position: Each is dominated by a narrower, more intense first peak and a broader but less intense second peak. The corresponding K-shell edge absorption thresholds are shifted toward higher energy relative to that for red phosphorus, as expected for increasing degrees of phosphorus oxidation. The B. megaterium spectrum has aspects common to both the phosphate and DNA spectra and is therefore interpreted as a composite of spectra arising from DNA, ribonucleic acid (RNA) and phosphates within the spore. The B. megaterium spore spectrum provides information for resonant radiation damage studies in the phosphorus K-shell edge absorption region by identifying candidate photoexcitations. In addition, the absorption spectra will be useful in X-ray microscopy and macromolecular crystallography studies at the phosphorus K-shell edge.

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