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J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Apr 24;50(9):2615-21.

Volatile metabolites from actinomycetes.

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  • 1Department of Indoor Environment, National Institute of Occupational Health, Lersø Parkallé 105, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark.


Twenty-six Streptomyces spp. were screened for their volatile production capacity on yeast starch agar. The volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were concentrated on a porous polymer throughout an 8-day growth period. VOCs were analyzed by gas chromatography with flame ionization detection and identified or characterized by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. A total of 120 VOCs were characterized by retention index and mass spectra. Fifty-three compounds were characterized as terpenoid compounds, among which 18 could be identified. Among the VOCs were alkanes, alkenes, alcohols, esters, ketones, sulfur compounds, and isoprenoid compounds. Among the most frequently produced compounds were isoprene, acetone, 1-butanol, 2-methyl-1-propanol, 3-methyl-3-buten-1-ol, 3-methyl-1-butanol, 2-methyl-1-butanol, cyclopentanone, dimethyl disulfide, dimethyl trisulfide, 2-phenylethanol, and geosmin. The relationship between the excretion of geosmin and the production of spores was examined for one isolate. A good correlation between headspace geosmin and the number of spores was observed, suggesting that VOCs could be used to indicate the activity of these microorganisms in heterogeneous substrates.

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