SUMMARY: The metabolism of methoxylated aromatic compounds by the soil fungi sp., sp. and sp. has been investigated. A study of rates of decomposition of mono-methoxybenzoic acids by sp. revealed that they are most rapidly attacked in the order (). () and (). In respiration studies with all three fungi the form was again found to be metabolized most rapidly. In the initial stage of attack the methoxyl group is replaced by a hydroxyl group. sp. also formed -methoxyphenol from -methoxyhenzoic acid. A study of the rates of metabolism of monohydroxy-benzoic acids revealed that they are attacked in the same order as the monometh-oxybenzoic acids. -Hydroxybenzoc acid formed from -methoxybenzoic acid is further metabolized to protoetechuic acid by sp. and sp. When veratric acid (3:4-dimethoxybenzoic acid) is incubated with sp. and sp. the methoxyl group in the position is replaced by a hydroxyl group to give vanille acid. All three fungi formed two unidentified phenolic compounds from 2:4-dimethoxybenzoic acid. The possible significance of the results in the decomposition of lignin in soil is discussed.


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