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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2003 Jan;69(1):186-90.

Degradation of anthracene by Mycobacterium sp. strain LB501T proceeds via a novel pathway, through o-phthalic acid.

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  • 1Department of Environmental and Toxicological Chemistry (IBED/MTC), University of Amsterdam, 1018WV Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Erratum in

  • Appl Environ Microbiol. 2003 May;69(5):3026.


Mycobacterium sp. strain LB501T utilizes anthracene as a sole carbon and energy source. We analyzed cultures of the wild-type strain and of UV-generated mutants impaired in anthracene utilization for metabolites to determine the anthracene degradation pathway. Identification of metabolites by comparison with authentic standards and transient accumulation of o-phthalic acid by the wild-type strain during growth on anthracene suggest a pathway through o-phthalic acid and protocatechuic acid. As the only productive degradation pathway known so far for anthracene proceeds through 2,3-dihydroxynaphthalene and the naphthalene degradation pathway to form salicylate, this indicates the existence of a novel anthracene catabolic pathway in Mycobacterium sp. LB501T.

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