The bioreduction of 2-benzoylpyridine (1a) with Rhizopus arrhizus afforded (S)-(+)-alpha-phenyl-2-pyridylmethanol (2a) in 82% enantiomeric excess (e.e.) while the asymmetric hydrolysis of its racemic acetate resulted in the antipode (R)-(-)-2a with 24% optical purity.
N. A. Salvi, Udupa, S. R., and Banerji, A., “Chiral Synthesis of a-phenylpyridylmethanols with Rhizopus arrhizus”, Biotechnology Letters, vol. 20, pp. 201-203, 1998.