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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Isolation and characterization of thermophilic bacilli degrading cinnamic, 4-coumaric, and ferulic acids.

Thirty-four thermophilic Bacillus sp. strains were isolated from decayed wood bark and a hot spring water sample based on their ability to degrade vanillic acid under thermophilic conditions. It was found that these bacteria were able to degrade a wide range of aromatic acids such as cinnamic, 4-coumaric, 3-phenylpropionic, 3-(p-hydroxyphenyl)propionic, ferulic, benzoic, and 4-hydroxybenzoic acids. The metabolic pathways for the degradation of these aromatic acids at 60 degrees C were examined by using one of the isolates, strain B1. Benzoic and 4-hydroxybenzoic acids were detected as breakdown products from cinnamic and 4-coumaric acids, respectively. The beta-oxidative mechanism was proposed to be responsible for these conversions. The degradation of benzoic and 4-hydroxybenzoic acids was determined to proceed through catechol and gentisic acid, respectively, for their ring fission. It is likely that a non-beta-oxidative mechanism is the case in the ferulic acid catabolism, which involved 4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl-beta-hydroxypropionic acid, vanillin, and vanillic acid as the intermediates. Other strains examined, which are V0, D1, E1, G2, ZI3, and H4, were found to have the same pathways as those of strain B1, except that strains V0, D1, and H4 had the ability to transform 3-hydroxybenzoic acid to gentisic acid, which strain B1 could not do.[1]


  1. Isolation and characterization of thermophilic bacilli degrading cinnamic, 4-coumaric, and ferulic acids. Peng, X., Misawa, N., Harayama, S. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. (2003) [Pubmed]
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