Naphthalene and two naphthalenesulfonic acids were degraded by Pseudomonas sp. A3 and Pseudomonas sp. C22 by the same enzymes. Gentisate is a major metabolite. Catabolic activities for naphthalene, 1-naphthalenesulfonic acid, and 2-naphthalenesulfonic acid are induced by growth with naphthalene, 1-naphthalenesulfonic acid, 2-naphthalenesulfonic acid, methylnaphthalene, or salicylate. Gentisate is also an inducer in strain A3. Inhibition kinetics show that naphthalene and substituted naphthalenes are hydroxylated by the same naphthalene dioxygenase. Substrates with nondissociable substituents such as CH(3), OCH(3), Cl, or NO(2) are hydroxylated in the 7,8-position, and 4-substituted salicylates are accumulated. If CO(2)H, CH(2)CO(2)H, or SO(3)H are substituents, hydroxylation occurs with high regioselectivity in the 1,2-position. Thus, 1,2-dihydroxy-1,2-dihydronaphthalene-2-carboxylic acids are formed quantitatively from the corresponding naphthalenecarboxylic acids. Utilization of naphthalenesulfonic acids proceeds by the same regioselective 1,2-dioxygenation which labilizes the C-SO(3) bond and eliminates sulfite.