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Appl Microbiol. 1965 November; 13(6): 935–938.
PMCID: PMC1058374

Geosmin, an Earthy-Smelling Substance Isolated from Actinomycetes


Geosmin, an earthy-smelling substance, has been isolated from several actinomycetes. Production of 1 mg per liter of whole broth was obtained from Streptomyces griseus LP-16. After preliminary separations, pure geosmin was isolated in milligram amounts by gas chromatography. Geosmin is a neutral oil, with an approximate boiling point of 270 C, which contains carbon and hydrogen, but no nitrogen. It undergoes a reaction with acid to give odorless argosmin, a neutral oil, with an approximate boiling point of 230 C, which contains only carbon and hydrogen. Specific rotation and ultraviolet- and infrared-absorbtion spectra were determined for both.

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