SUMMARY: Cholesterol enrichment cultures from soil samples yielded various and spp. capable of metabolizing cholesterol aerobically as a sole carbon source. One of these isolates, designated 148, formed haloes (cholesterol-free zones surrounding colonies) on cholesterol mineral salts agar. This organism was selected for further study as it was able to utilize 80-100% of 0·1% (w/v) cholesterol in a mineral salts medium in 6 days. Oxidation of the sterol was initiated by a cholesterol dehydrogenase, giving 4-cholestene-3-one. The latter compound was then hydroxylated to form 4-cholestene-4-ol-3-one. Isotopic tracer studies revealed all of carbon-4 and most of carbon-26 of cholesterol were converted to C0 However, some of carbon-26 was converted to cell material.

148 gave several variants, one of which ( 148 no. 2 var. A) could be reclassified as a Nocardia, using the same method of Gordon&Smith (1955).


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