Effects of elevated nitrogen on the growth and geosmin productivity of Dolichospermum smithii

Qingyue Shen, Kazuya Shimizu, Hanchen Miao, Shinya Tsukino, Motoo Utsumi, Zhongfang Lei, Zhenya Zhang, Osamu Nishimura, Yasuhiro Asada, Naoshi Fujimoto, Hirokazu Takanashi, Michihiro Akiba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Geosmin is one of the most common earthy-musty odor compounds, which is mainly produced by cyanobacteria in surface water. Nitrogen (N) is an important factor affecting the growth of cyanobacteria and its secondary metabolites production due to the eutrophication. In this study, we compared the effects of elevated N on the growth and geosmin productivity of Dolichospermum smithii NIES-824 (synonym Anabaena smithii NIES-824), aiming to better understand the mechanisms involved and give an important and fundamental knowledge to solve off-flavor problem. Results show that elevated N concentration promoted more chlorophyll a (Chl-a) production, whereas the geosmin synthesis decreased, revealing a possible competitive correlation between the Chl-a concentration and geosmin production of D. smithii NIES-824. The majority of geosmin (> 90%) was retained intracellularly during the 28 days of cultivation. The qRT-PCR analysis demonstrates that the expression level of the geosmin synthase gene (geoA) was constitutive and decreased at the higher N concentration during the exponential growth phase of cyanobacterial cells. Furthermore, the decrease of geoA expression during the decline phase suggested that geoA transcription was closely related to cell activity and isoprenoid productivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-184
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jan


  • Cyanobacteria
  • Earthy-musty odor
  • Geosmin
  • Nitrogen
  • geoA Expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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