Table 1: Fatty acid designations, names, molar masses, and some recent uses as biomarkers. Fatty acid notation gives the ratio of carbon atoms to double bonds. The elution order is that for a GC column with a polyethylene glycol phase. Trivial names are given for most unique fatty acid isomers; otherwise, their systematic names are given. Molar masses are given for fatty acid methyl esters which are useful for the calculation of mol% composition required by some journals and necessary for the calculation of mean chain length, double bond number, and molecular weight [80]. Biomarker references are taken from the past decade.

Fatty acid nameMolar mass of FAME Biomarker for  Recent
references

14:0Myristic242.40Proteobacteria (Moritella)/Diatoms/Prymnesiophytes[81, 82]
TMTDTrimethyltridecanoic270.45
14:1Tetradecenoic240.39Proteobacteria (Colwellia, Moritella) [81]
i15:0Methyltetradecanoic256.43Bacteria  [83]
ai15:0Methyltetradecanoic256.43Bacteria [83]
15:0Pentadecanoic256.43Phytoplankton[84]
15:1Pentadecenoic 254.41Bacteria[85]
i16:0Methylpentadecanoic270.45
ai16:0Methylpentadecanoic270.45Bacteria[85]
PristanicTetramethylpentadecanoic312.53
16:0Palmitic 270.45
16:1 11Hexadecenoic 268.43
16:1 9Hexadecenoic 268.43
16:1 7Palmitoleic 268.43Mangrove/Diatoms/Bacteria[83]
16:1 5Hexadecenoic 268.43Bacteria[83]
i17:0Methylhexadecanoic284.48Bacteria[83]
ai17:0Methylhexadecanoic284.48Bacteria[83]
16:2 4Hexadecadienoic 266.42Bacteria[83]
PhytanicTetramethylhexadecanoic326.55
17:0Margaric284.48Bacteria[82]
16:3 4Hexadecatrienoic 264.39
17:1Heptadecenoic282.46Bacteria[84]
16:4 3Hexadecatetraenoic 262.39
16:4 1Hexadecatetraenoic 262.39Diatoms[82]
18:0Stearic 298.51
18:1 11Octadecenoic296.49
18:1 9Oleic 296.49Deep-sea fish/Crustaceans/Macroalgae/Mangrove/Carnivory[82, 83]
18:1 7Vaccenic 296.49Bacteria[83]
18:1 6Octadecenoic296.49Bacteria [83]
18:1 5Octadecenoic296.49
18:2aOctadecadienoic294.48  
18:2bOctadecadienoic294.48
18:2 6Linoleic; LA294.48Mangrove/Seagrass/Macroalgae/Vascular plants[83]
18:2 4Octadecadienoic294.48Bacteria[83]
18:3 6 -linolenic; GLA292.46Macroalgae  [83]
19:0Nonadecanoic 312.54(N.b. can be difficult to separate from 18:3ω6)
18:3 4Octadecatrienoic 292.46
18:3 3 -linolenic; ALA292.46Mangrove/Seagrass/Vascular plants[83]
18:4 3Stearidonic; OTA290.43Cryptophytes/Haptophytes/Dinoflagellates/Cryptomonads/Seagrass/Kelp[83]
18:4 1Octadecatetraenoic290.43
20:0Arachidic326.56
18:5 3Octadecapentaenoic288.42Dinoflagellates[81]
20:1 11Gadoleic 324.54Copepods[83]
20:1 9Gondoic324.54Copepods [83]
20:1 7Eicosenoic 324.54
20:2 Eicosadienoic322.53
20:2 Eicosadienoic322.53
20:2 6Eicosadienoic322.53
20:3 6Dihomo-γ-linolenic 320.51
21:0Heneicosanoic340.59
20:4 6Arachidonic; ARA318.50Protozoa and microeukaryotes/red algae/Kelp[83]
20:3 3Eicosatrienoic320.51
20:4 3Eicosatetraenoic318.50Fungi/Protozoa/Algae[83]
20:5 3Eicosapentaenoic; EPA 316.48Diatoms and brown and red macroalgae[83]
22:0Behenic354.61Terrestrial plants[86]
22:1 11(13)Docosenoic 352.60Zooplankton[85]
22:1 9Erucic 352.60Zooplankton[85]
22:1 7Docosenoic 352.60
22:2NMIDaDocosadienoic350.58
22:2NMIDbDocosadienoic350.58
21:5 3Heneicosapentaenoic330.51
23:0Tricosanoic368.64
22:4 6Adrenic346.55
22:5 6Osbond; 6DPA344.53
22:4 3Docosatetraenoic346.55
22:5 3Clupanodonic; DPA344.53
24:0Lignoceric382.66Mangrove/terrestrial plants[87]
22:6 3Docosahexaenoic; DHA342.51Dinoflagellates/zooplankton [83]
24:1Tetracosanoic380.65Zooplankton  [87]

ai: anteiso methyl-branched, DPA: docosapentaenoic acid, i: iso-methyl branched, NMID: nonmethylene interrupted dienoic, OTA: octadecatetraenoic acid.