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Appl Environ Microbiol. Jan 1981; 41(1): 71–76.
PMCID: PMC243641

Production of Skatole and para-Cresol by a Rumen Lactobacillus sp.


The objective of this study was to examine the substrate specificity of several ruminal strains of a Lactobacillus sp. which previously was shown to produce skatole (3-methylindole) by the decarboxylation of indoleacetic acid. A total of 13 compounds were tested for decarboxylase activity. The Lactobacillus strains produced p-cresol (4-methylphenol) by the decarboxylation of p-hydroxyphenylacetic acid, but did not produce either o-cresol or m-cresol from the corresponding hydroxyphenylacetic acid isomers. These strains also decarboxylated 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid to 5-hydroxyskatole and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid to methylcatechol. Skatole and p-cresol were produced in a 0.5:1 ratio, when indoleacetic acid and p-hydroxyphenylacetic acid were combined in equimolar concentrations. Competition studies with indoleacetic acid and p-hydroxyphenylacetic acid suggested that two different decarboxylating enzymes are involved in the production of skatole and p-cresol by these strains. This is the first demonstration of both skatole production and p-cresol production by a single bacterium.

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Selected References

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