About this Research Topic
The occurrence of taste and odor compounds (T&Os) in freshwater bodies is widespread. Because T&Os affect the satisfaction and confidence of the public in their drinking water supply, T&Os have become a major concern throughout the world. Moreover, aquaculture and fisheries activities are also affected by the presence of various T&Os that can result in a bad taste of fish and shellfish produced for human use. Although toxicological effects have not been reported towards humans and most organisms, T&Os occurrence can profoundly influence human behavior. For an average water consumer, taste and odor is the only way of determining the safety of tap water and food.
T&Os are microbial-derived metabolites generally produced by autochthonous and allochthonous microbiota in freshwater ecosystems. Progressive eutrophication and pollution of surface water have caused a steady increase in odor and tasty incidents related to the blooming of T&Os producing microorganisms in aquatic environments worldwide. Cyanobacteria have been described as the most important group of T&Os-producers in freshwater environments with numerous strains and metabolic pathways identified. However, several algal and bacterial species are also known to be potential OTCs producers in aquatic ecosystems. The types of odor and tastes vary in chemistry, intensity, and production patterns for different taxa. Among numerous T&Os, geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol (MIB), with earthy/musty odors, have been widely studied because they frequently occur in freshwater ecosystems resulting in strong odor even at low concentrations. In fact, these two compounds have extremely low odor thresholds to humans (around 5 ng L-1) and their removal efficiency by conventional treatment processes in drinking water plants is very low. Moreover, additional expensive steps in water treatment have not proven useful for its complete removal. Thus, early detection and the potential prediction of a T&Os event is fundamental to an effective management of waters used for drinking, recreation, aquaculture, and other food and beverage industries.
This Research Topic focuses on current insights of T&Os produced by microorganisms in freshwater ecosystems. Studies aiming to understand the mechanisms behind the appearance and increase of microbial-derived T&Os in aquatic environments are welcome. Both field-based and laboratory-controlled investigations on this topic are encouraged for submission as well as works aiming to predict the behavior of relevant T&Os (i.e. geosmin and MIB) in freshwater ecosystems. Particular emphasis on innovative tools for the rapid detection and quantification of microbial T&Os production in aquatic environments are welcome. Research on the ecotoxicological assessment of microbial-derived OTCs in aquatic environment is also appreciated. Finally, studies investigating the degradation patterns or applied biological management techniques of T&Os in sediments and the water column are also welcome.
Keywords: Microbial Production, Freshwaters, Ecotoxicology, Removal, Taste And Odor Compounds