Growth of Klebsiella pneumoniae M5a1 on 3-hydroxybenzoate leads to the induction of 3-hydroxybenzoate monooxygenase, 2,5-dihydroxybenzoate dioxygenase, maleylpyruvate isomerase and fumaryl-pyruvate hydrolase. Growth in the presence of 2,5-dihydroxybenzoate also induces all of these enzymes including the 3-hydroxybenzoate monooxygenase which is not required for 2,5-dihydroxybenzoate catabolism. Mutants defective in 3-hydroxybenzoate monooxygenase fail to grow on 3-hydroxybenzoate but grow normally on 2,5-dihydroxybenzoate. Mutants lacking maleylpyruvate isomerase fail to grow on 3-hydroxybenzoate and 2,5-dihydroxybenzoate. Both kinds of mutants grow normally on 3,4-dihydroxybenzoate. Mutants defective in maleylpyruvate isomerase accumulate maleylpyruvate when exposed to 3-hydroxybenzoate and growth is inhibited. Secondary mutants that have additionally lost 3-hydroxybenzoate monooxygenase are no longer inhibited by the presence of 3-hydroxybenzoate. The 3-hydroxybenzoate monooxygenase gene (mhbM) and the maleylpyruvate isomerase gene (mhbI) are 100% co-transducible by P1 phage.