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J Bacteriol. 1979 Feb;137(2):795-801.

Analysis of corynomycolic acids and other fatty acids produced by Corynebacterium lepus grown on kerosene.


The saponifiable carboxylic acids of the extracellular product of Corynebacterium lepus grown on kerosene have been isolated and characterized. About 25% of these acids were a mixture of simple, saturated fatty acids ranging from C13 to C24 and including both even and odd homologues. The distribution of these acids was bimodal, with maxima at C15 and C21. The other 75% of the acids was a mixture of corynomycolic acids [R1--CH(OH)--CH(R2)--COOH] ranging from C28 to C43. The R1 alkyl fragments varied from C16 to C25, and R2 fragments varied from C6 to C14. Both even and odd corynomycolic acid homologues were observed, and the distribution had a single pronounced maximum at C32 and C33. Bacterial utilization of the carboxylic oxidation products of the kerosene substrate is suggested to account for the wide distribution in chain length of these saturated fatty acids and for the observation of both even and odd homologues.

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