SUMMARY: Bacterium ncib 8250 was grown on mandelate, benzyl alcohol, benzoylformate, benzaldehyde or benzoate and also on 2-hydroxy, 4-hydroxy, 3,4-dihydroxy and 4-hydroxy-3-methoxy derivatives of these compounds. Growth rates and yields of organism were measured for many of the substrates. The pathways of oxidation of mandelate and related compounds were investigated by the technique of simultaneous adaptation. Bacterium ncib 8250 did not utilise D-mandelate; L-mandelate was oxidised via benzoylformate, benzaldehyde and benzoate to catechol. Benzyl alcohol was converted to catechol via benzaldehyde and benzoate. The 2-hydroxy-substituted compounds were oxidised to catechol by a parallel pathway. 4-Hydroxy-, 3,4-dihydroxy- and 4-hydroxy-3-methoxy-substituted compounds were all converted to 3,4-dihydroxybenzoate. Catechol and 3,4-dihydroxybenzoate underwent ring cleavage with the ultimate formation of β-oxoadipate.


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