The products of incubation of with methanol were studied by C NMR spectroscopy. The methanol was converted into formaldehyde, which was at least partially oxidized to formate. Methanol oxidation was prevented by inhibitors of the ammonia oxidizing enzyme, ammonia monooxygenase. The effects of hydrazine and NFL were as found in earlier studies with other substrates for ammonia monooxygenase. From experiments in which ammonia and methanol were simultaneously oxidized, the specificity parameter / was 0.008 for methanol, relative to unity for uncharged ammonia. The rate of growth was not enhanced by methanol, and attempts to grow the cells with methanol as energy source were unsuccessful. Formaldehyde proved much more toxic than methanol when added to shake-flask cultures. Hydroxylamine, an intermediate in ammonia oxidation, reacts with formaldehyde to form formaldoxime. Formaldoxime inhibited hydroxylamine oxidation, providing a specific mechanism for formaldehyde toxicity.


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