Cell-free extracts prepared from the extremely halophilic bacterium Halobacterium saccharovorum oxidize galactose and accumulate a product which reacts as if it were a lactone. The product does not act as a reducing sugar and contains all six of the carbon atoms initially present in galactose. The product was jugged to be galactonic acid, based on the behavior of the acetylmethyl ester derivative of the product and the pentaacetyl derivative of the galactonic methyl ester during gas chromatography.
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