Four extradiol dioxygenase genes which encode enzymes active against catechol and substituted catechols were cloned from two different and their nucleotide sequences were determined. A catechol 2,3-dioxygenase gene () was shown to be identical to the previously described gene from the isopropylbenzene operon of Amino acid sequences deduced from the three other genes () were shown to have various degrees of homology to different extradiol dioxygenases. The EdoA and EdoB dioxygenases were classified as belonging to the third family of type I oxygenases and represented two new subfamilies, whereas the EdoD dioxygenase was a type II enzyme. Analysis of six strains revealed a wide distribution of the above dioxygenase genes. I1 was shown to harbour all four of the analysed dioxygenase genes. Nucleotide sequences homologous to the gene were present in all of the strains, including NCIMB 13065, which did not utilize any of the aromatic compounds analysed. The latter finding points to the existence of a silent pathway(s) for degradation of aromatic compounds in this


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