A filamentous bacterium capable of utilizing 4-methylpyridine and 4-ethylpyridine as the sole source of carbon, nitrogen and energy was isolated from sludge. The organism, designated as strain M43, clustered most closely with members of the genus Pseudonocardia by 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. During the degradation of 4-methylpyridine and 4-ethylpyridine, c. 60% of nitrogen in the pyridine ring was released as ammonia. Metabolite analyses showed that 2hydroxy-4-methylpyridine and 2-hydroxy-4-ethylpyricline were transiently accumulated during the degradation of 4-methylpyridine and 4-ethylpyridine, respectively. Strain M43 was also able to degrade pyridine, 3,4-dimethylpyridine, 4-carboxypyridine and 2-hydroxy-4-methylpyridine. The results indicate that degradation of 4-methylpyridine and 4-ethylpyridine by strain M43 proceeded via initial hydroxylation.