A single pure component was isolated from mycobactin P by countercurrent distribution; its side chain is n-cis-octadec-2-enoyl; its purity and molecular structure were confirmed by mass spectrometry of its aluminium complex. The separation of ferric and of aluminium complexes of mycobactins by thin-layer chromatography is described. Mycobacterium terrae, M. marinum and M. smegmatis produce mycobactins that differ among themselves and from mycobactins P and T. A nomenclature for the mycobactins and their derivatives is suggested.

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