General depiction of the aromatic compound degradation routes present in i JN746. The protocatechuate (pca genes) and catechol (cat genes) branches of the beta-ketoadipate pathway are shown as well as peripheral pathways by orange arrows. The homogentisate pathway (hmg genes) is represented by green arrows and the phenylacetate pathway (paa genes) is represented by purple arrows. The nicotinate and gallate pathways (unknown genes) are shown by green and red arrows, respectively. Finally, the Tol pathway (xyl genes from pWW0 plasmid) for toluene and xylene degradation is represented by blue arrows. The initial aromatic compounds are indicated by green circles and the central metabolic compounds for each pathway are also highlighted. A detailed list of reactions involved in aromatic acid degradation can be found in the Additional file 9.