Homogentisic acid (2,5-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid) is a phenolic acid found in Arbutus unedo (strawberry-tree) honey. It is also present in the bacterial plant pathogen Xanthomonas campestris pv. phaseoli as well as in the yeast Yarrowia lipolytica where it is associated with the production of brown pigments.
Accumulation of excess homogentisic acid and its oxide, named alkapton, is a result of the failure of the enzyme homogentisic acid 1,2-dioxygenase (typically due to a mutation) in the degradative pathway of tyrosine, consequently associated with alkaptonuria.
It is an intermediate in the catabolism of aromatic amino acids such as phenylalanine and tyrosine.