Plasmid-borne Tn5 insertion mutants of a Pseudomonas species which accumulated 2,5-dihydroxybenzoate (gentisate) following growth on 2-hydroxybenzoate (salicylate) were obtained from a pool of mutants that were unable to grow on naphthalene. One such mutant was characterized further. The ability of this mutant to oxidize gentisate was 100-fold less than the ability of a Nah+ Sal+ strain harboring the unmutagenized plasmid, although both strains oxidized and grew on salicylate. These bacteria were presumably able to metabolize salicylate via catechol, since they possessed an inducible, plasmid-encoded catechol 2,3-dioxygenase. Our results suggest that there is an alternate, plasmid-encoded route of salicylate degradation via gentisate and that some plasmid-associated relationship between this pathway and naphthalene oxidation exists.