1. Two bacteria, a Bacillus sp. and a Nocardia sp. (strain Z1) were isolated from soil by enrichment with 0.1 percent (v/v) pyridine and grew rapidly on this compound as sole C, N and energy source. The monohydroxypyridines, tetrahydropyridine, piperidine and some other analogues were not utilized for growth or oxidized by washed suspensions of either bacterium. 2. Cell-free extracts were unable to metabolize pyridine even after supplementation with a variety of cofactors or protecting agents. Treatment of cells with toluene led to rapid loss of the ability to oxidize pyridine. 3. In the presence of 10mM-semicarbazide at pH 6.0, Nocardia Z1 accumulated a semialdehyde idenditied as its 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazone by chromatography, mixed melting point, mass spectrometry and isotope trapping from [2,6(-14)C]pyridine as glutarate semialdehyde. 4. Extracts of this bacterium prepared from cells grown with pyridine or exposed to the gratuitous inducer 2-picoline, contained high activities of a specific glutarate semialdehyde dehydrogenase. 5. Cells grown with pyridine or glutarate also contained a glutaric dialdehyde dehydrogenase, an acyl-CoA synthetase and elevated amounts of isocitrate lyase but no glutaryl-CoA dehydrogenase. 6. Bacillus 4 accumulated in the presence of 10mM-semicarbazide several acidic carbonyl compounds from pyridine among which was succinate semialdehyde. Extracts of this bacillus after growth of the cells with pyridine contained an inducible succinate semialdehyde dehydrogenase in amounts at least 50-fold over those found in succinate-grown cells. 7. Two mutants of this bacillus, selected for their inability to grow on pyridine were deficient in succinate semialdehyde dehydrogenase. 8. In the presence of 0.2mM-KCN, washed suspensions of Bacillus 4 accumulated formate and possibly formamide from pyridine. The use of [14C]pyridine showed that formate was derived from C-2 of the pyridine ring. 9. The organism had a specific formamide amidohydrolase cleaving formamide quantitatively to formate and NH3. 10. Formate was further oxidized by the particle fraction. There was no soluble formate dehydrogenase in extracts.

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