Cultures of Caulobacter crescentus were found to grow on a variety of aromatic compounds. Degradation of benzoate, p-hydroxybenzoate and phenol was found to occur via B-ketoadipate. Induction of the degradative enzymes such a benzoate 1,2-dioxygenase, the ring cleavage enzyme, catechol 1,2-dioxygenase, and cis, cis-muconate lactonizing enzyme appeared similar to the control mechanism present in Pseudomonas. Both benzoate 1,2-dioxygenase and catechol 1,2-dioxygenase seem to have stringent specificities as revealed by their action towards substituted benzoates and substituted catechols respectively. The potential degradative abilities of Caulobacters is discussed.