Archiv für Mikrobiologie

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 137-153

First online:

A crystalline pigment produced from 2-hydroxypyridine by arthrobacter crystallopoietes n.sp.

  • Jerald C. EnsignAffiliated withDepartment of Bacteriology, University of Southern California
  • , Sydney C. RittenbergAffiliated withDepartment of Bacteriology, University of Southern California

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A bacterium was isolated from soil which utilizes 2-hydroxypyridine as sole source of carbon and nitrogen. When grown on solid medium with this substrate massive amounts of green rectangular crystals are deposited extracellularly in the colony mass. The pigment producing organism proved to be a hitherto undescribed species to which the name Arthrobacter crystallopoietes was applied. The pigment formed is characterized qualitatively by the following properties: it is an oxidation product of 2-hydroxypyridine probably still containing a six-membered heterocyclic ring; it exists as an anion with an intense blue color in neutral or slightly alkaline solution and as a metal salt in the deposited crystals; it precipitates from acid solution as a red water-insoluble free acid; it can be reversible oxidized and reduced, being colorless in the reduced form; and in solution it is spontaneously oxidized by air, the reaction being very rapid at alkalineph. The ultraviolet, visible and infrared spectra of the blue and red forms are presented. The properties of the pigment show that it is a member of a chemically poorly defined group of compounds termed azaquinones and that it is related to but not identical with pigments produced by the bacterial oxidation of nicotine, nicotinic acid and isonicotinic acid.