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Detection of geosmin from Coelosphaerium kuetzingianum separated by a step density gradient medium from suspended materials in water in Lake Shinji, Japan

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To identify the geosmin-producing organisms in Lake Shinji, Japan, we conducted preliminary chemical and biological investigations from April to July 2008, during which odor occurrence was observed. Geosmin was mainly detected in the suspended substance (SS) of lake water, and its concentration corresponded to the cell numbers of Coelosphaerium kuetzingianum (Cyanophyceae) and Monoraphidium contortum. C. kuetzingianum and Pseudodictyosphaerium minusculum (Chlorophyceae; which occurred only in April) were separated from the lake water of 30 April to the lighter, interlayers in a step density gradient medium. The highest concentration of geosmin was detected in the portion of the lightest layer separated from the water sample by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Observation under optical microscope confirmed that abundant C. kuetzingianum with some P. minusculum and a very rare unknown material was retained in this portion. Similarly C. kuetzingianum was separated by the step density gradient medium from the sediment of 7 May. Abundant C. kuetzingianum with rare bacteria was recognized in the portion of the lightest layer, which contained the highest concentration of geosmin. The cell numbers of C. kuetzingianum correlated with the concentration of geosmin in the separated portions of water samples. These results suggest that C. kuetzingianum probably produced geosmin, although there has been no report about this to now.

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We thank Dr. H. Fukushima for his useful support in the separation method and Dr. H. Kamiya and members of Shimane Prefectural Institute for Public Health and Environmental Science for supporting this work.

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Correspondence to Toshiyuki Godo.

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Godo, T., Ohtani, S., Saki, Y. et al. Detection of geosmin from Coelosphaerium kuetzingianum separated by a step density gradient medium from suspended materials in water in Lake Shinji, Japan. Limnology 12, 253–260 (2011).

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