SUMMARY: Thirteen strains of bacteria able to grow on phenanthrene were isolated from soil; they included fluorescent and non-fluorescent pseudomonads, vibrios and unidentified bacteria. Two of the pseudomonads, like sp. s45p1, also grew on naphthalene. In all strains, growth on phenanthrene induced the enzyme responsible for the conversion of 1-hydroxy-2-naphthoate to 2-carboxybenzaldehyde, NAD-dependent 2-carboxybenzalde-hyde dehydrogenase and protocatechuate oxygenase, but not salicylate hydroxylase, catechol oxygenase or NAD(P)H-dependent 1-hydroxy-2-naphthoate hydroxylase. Growth on naphthalene induced salicylate hydroxylase and catechol oxygenase. It is suggested that the catabolism of phenanthrene occurs via protocatechuate in all these bacteria, and that the pathways for degradation of phenanthrene and naphthalene are separate.


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