Significance of attached cyanobacteria relevant to the occurrence of musty odor in Lake Kasumigaura

Norio Sugiura, Norio Iwami, Yuhei Inamori, Osamu Nishimura, Ryuichi Sudo

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69 Citations (Scopus)


The microorganisms and compounds causing musty odor in the second largest lake in Japan, Lake Kasumigaura, where the water is used for drinking, fisheries and agricultural purposes, were examined during the severe occurrence of musty odor in 1989 and 1990. This study was undertaken to determine the microorganisms and their metabolites responsible for the musty odor. Phormidium tenue, which has been reported to be the main contributor of the odor in Lake Kasumigaura, was isolated. Furthermore, four monoxenic strains of the odor producing attached cyanobacteria, Phormidium viscosum, Lyngbya allorgei, Oscillatoria splendida and Phormidium uncinatum, were isolated from submerged rocks and sediments in the lake. All of the four attached strains produced only geosmin, which was confirmed by gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer analysis, in the monoxenic cultures. In particular, we confirmed for the first time that P. viscosum, L. allorgei and P. uncinatum produced geosmin. Both the planktonic Phormidium tenue, a well known 2-methylisoborneol (MIB) producer and geosmin-producing attached cyanobacteria were closely associated with the occurrence of musty odor in Lake Kasumigaura.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3549-3554
Number of pages6
JournalWater Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1998 Dec


  • 2-methylisoborneol
  • Actinomycetes
  • Attached cyanobacteria
  • Geosmin
  • Planktonic cyanobacteria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecological Modelling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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