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A Selenomonas sp., isolated from the ovine rumen, was characterized with regard to its ability to hydrate oleic acid to 10-hydroxystearic acid. Hydration occurred only in stationary phase in a medium containing 0.1%, 0.5% (w/v) galactose or 0.5% (w/v) glucose, but not in a medium containing 1% galactose. Growth under a hydrogen headspace did not result in the production of stearic acid, the biohydrogenated product of oleic acid. Linoleic and linolenic acids (0.1% v/v) were not hydrated. It is concluded that the growing bacterium is unlikely to contribute to oleic acid hydration in the rumen.