Send to

Choose Destination
Appl Environ Microbiol. 1982 Mar;43(3):708-14.

Geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol from cyanobacteria in three water supply systems.

Author information

Water Quality Branch, The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, La Verne, California 91750.


Three Oscillatoria strains and one Anabaena species were isolated from three different water supply systems in California that experienced earthy-musty taste and odor problems in their drinking water. Unialgal cultures, free of actinomycetes, were purged using the Grob closed-loop stripping analysis method, and the resulting methylene chloride extracts were analyzed on a gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer. Geosmin was produced by Oscillatoria simplicissima and Anabaena scheremetievi, and 2-methylisoborneol was produced by O. curviceps and O. tenuis. These compounds are the two major causes of earthy-musty tastes and odors in water. In three instances, the major odorant found in culture was previously identified in the water or sediment sample from which the respective organism was isolated. O. curviceps was implicated in a taste and odor episode involving 2-methylisoborneol in a major reservoir. Geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol were easily detected with culture samples of only 4 to 25 ml.


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center