November 14, 1911-April 4, 1975
BY H. A. BARKER
MICHAEL DOUDOROFF WAS A general microbiologist who made major contributions to knowledge of carbohydrate metabolism in bacteria. His early studies of sucrose utilization by Pseudomonas saccharophila, a bacterium he isolated and made famous, established the importance of glucosyl transfer reactions in metabolism and provided the first substantial evidence that an enzyme may function as a glucosyl carrier. His investigations of glucose oxidation by extracts of P. saccharophila resulted in the discovery of a major pathway of glucose degradation in bacteria, the Entner-Doudoroff pathway. Other sugars were shown to be metabolized by similar, but divergent, pathways. His studies of assimilatory processes in aerobic and photosynthetic bacteria demonstrated that poly-ß-hydroxybutyric acid is a major storage product formed from substrates metabolized via acetate or butyrate and is utilized by means of both intracellular and extracellular enzymes. In the latter part of his career Doudoroff and his associates extensively clarified taxonomic and phylogenetic relationships in the genus Pseudomonas and certain other aerobic bacteria.
Doudoroff was born in Petrograd (St. Petersburg), Russia, the son of a naval officer. In 1917 his father became a member of the short-lived Kerensky government and sub-