The distribution of 3-ketolactose formation among members of the alpha subclass of the was investigated by the Benedict reagent test and by a more sensitive quantitative method in which high-performance liquid chromatography was used. 3-Ketolactose formation activity was found in strains of biovar 1 and in strains of eight species of the genus , including (the type species), which belong to the alpha-2 and alpha-4 subclasses of the , respectively. Weak activity was found in IFO 14126(T = type strain), a member of the alpha-4 subclass of the . The ketosugar was not produced by members of the other taxa of the alpha subclass of the tested. The ketosugar was isolated from culture broths of IFO 13935and IFO 15102and was identified as 3-ketolactose [4--(β-D--hexopyranosyl-3-ulose)-D-glucopyranose] by chromatographic analyses and H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.


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