The influence of several environmental factors (e.g., light intensity, temperature, nitrogen, and phosphorus) on population density and odor-compound production of two chrysophytes, Synura petersenii and Dinobryon cylindricum; and two cyanobacteria, Anabaena laxa and Phormidium calcicola was investigated. The odors associated with each alga were evaluated by flavor profile analysis (FPA) at several intervals during their initial culturing in defined media. Algal cell and media extracts were analyzed individually by capillary gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Both cyanobacteria produced geosmin (“earthy” and “corn” odors); however, the P. calcicola also produced relatively large amounts of MIB (“musty-earthy” odors). Both chrysophyte cultures contained 2t,4c,7c-decatrienal (“fishy” odor); and in addition, 2t,6c-nonadienal (“cucumber” odor) was isolated from the S. petersenii.

Young cultures of Anabaena laxa (e.g., <20 days) retained most of the geosmin produced. Throughout its population growth, more than 80 percent of the MIB and geosmin produced by P. calcicola was detected in the media rather than in the cells. Synura petersenii,produced more 2t,4c,7c-decatrienal than 2t,6c-nonadienal and retained nearly 90 percent of both compounds throughout the algal population growth. Dinobryon cylindricum produced 2t,4c,7c-decatrienal, and, like the S. petersenii, retained most of the compound. Greater production of the compounds by the two chrysophytes was apparently associated with log-phase growth rather than specific environmental conditions; extended log-phase growth (and prolonged production of compounds) was observed in the S. petersenii culture during the low-temperature treatment.