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J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2017 Jul 28;27(7):1316-1323. doi: 10.4014/jmb.1702.02069.

Effects of Environmental Factors on Cyanobacterial Production of Odorous Compounds: Geosmin and 2-Methylisoborneol.

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Cell Factory Research Center, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Daejeon 34141, Republic of Korea.
Freshwater Bioresources Culture Research Division, Nakdonggang National Institute of Biological Resources, Sangju 37242, Republic of Korea.


Geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol (2-MIB), responsible for earthy or musty smell, are a major concern for safe drinking water supplies. This study investigated the effects of environmental factors on odorous compound production and cell growth in cyanobacterial strains. Anabaena sp. FACHB-1384, a 2-MIB producer, was sensitive to low temperature (<20°C). However, geosmin producers, Anabaena sp. Chusori and Anabaena sp. NIER, were sensitive to high light intensity (>100 μmol/m2/sec), but not to low temperature. Geosmin concentrations increased under higher nitrate concentrations, being linearly proportional to cell density. A P-limited chemostat showed that P-stress decreased the geosmin productivity and extracellular geosmin amount per cell in Anabaena sp. NIER. However, only 2-MIB productivity was reduced in Planktothrix sp. FACHB-1374 under P-limitation. The extracellular 2-MIB amount per cell remained constant at all dilution rates. In conclusion, high light intensity and P-stress can contribute to the lower incidence of geosmin, whereas 2-MIB reduction could be attainable at a lower temperature.


2-methylisoborneol; Anabaena; Geosmin; Planktothrix; chemostat; cyanobacteria

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