Impact of water quality parameters on geosmin levels and geosmin producers in European recirculating aquaculture systems

Mie Bech Lukassen*, Simon Menanteau-Ledouble, Nadieh de Jonge*, Edward Schram, Jeppe Lund Nielsen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
69 Downloads (Pure)


Aims: Geosmin is associated with off-flavour problems in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) and represents an economic problem for the aquaculture industry. This study aims at investigating factors influencing the composition of the bacterial microbiota, in particular the presence of geosmin producers and the environmental and farming factors favouring geosmin accumulation. Methods and Results: Several water quality parameters were correlated to the composition of the microbiota with special emphasis on the presence of geosmin producers within 26 different RAS from four European countries. Three novel groups of geosmin-producing bacteria were quantified to identify potential correlations with geosmin concentration. Conclusions: The microbiome differed significantly between systems. However, phosphate levels, calcium levels and redox potential correlated to geosmin concentration in the water and the presence of the Actinomycetales geosmin-producers but not with the presence of other groups of geosmin-producing bacteria. Oxygen levels and conductivity were found to negatively correlate with geosmin concentration. A large proportion of the detected geosmin producers represented novel taxonomic groups not previously linked with this activity. Significance and Impact of the Study: These results improve our understanding of the diversity of microbiota in RAS and the water quality parameters favouring the populations of geosmin-producing bacteria and the production of geosmin.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)2475-2487
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme within the project: ‘Towards off flavour free finfish aquaculture – Spacetaste’, managed by REA—Research Executive Agency (FP7/2007‐2013) under grant agreement No. 604956.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Society for Applied Microbiology


  • Actinomycetales
  • biofilter
  • fish
  • geosmin
  • microbial community
  • myxobacteria
  • off-flavour
  • Sorangium sp.


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of water quality parameters on geosmin levels and geosmin producers in European recirculating aquaculture systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this