An Alcaligenes species, which was isolated from soil, can utilize abietic acid as its sole carbon source. During growth, the bacterium transforms abietic acid into 5α-hydroxyabietic acid (I, R=OH), a product considered to be 7β-hydroxy-13-isopropyl-8ξ-podocarp-13-en-15-oic acid (II, R=H) and a compound, C20H28O3, which is believed to be an epoxy-γ-lactone.

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