strain CF600 is able to utilize phenol and 3,4-dimethylphenol as sole carbon and energy source. We demonstrate that growth on these substrates is by virtue of plasmid-encoded phenol hydroxylase and a -cleavage pathway. Screening of a genomic bank, with DNA from the previously cloned catechol 2,3-dioxygenase gene of the TOL plasmid pWW0, was used in the identification of a clone which could complement a phenol-hydroxylase-deficient transposon insertion mutant. Deletion mapping and polypeptide production analysis identified a 1·2 kb region of DNA encoding a 39·5 kDa polypeptide which mediated this complementation. Enzyme activities and growth properties of strains harbouring this fragment on a broad-host-range expression vector indicate that phenol hydroxylase is a multicomponent enzyme containing the 39·5 kDa polypeptide as one component.


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