The degradation of chlorophenols by Alcaligenes eutrophus JMP134 (pJP4) was studied. The strain grew on 2,4,6-trichlorophenol or 2,4,6-tribromophenol as the sole carbon and energy source. Complete degradation of 2,4,6-trichlorophenol was confirmed by chloride release and gas chromatography analysis of supernatants from growth cultures. The 2,3,5-, 2,3,4-, 2,3,6-and 2,4,5-isomers of trichlorophenol did not support growth. However, up to 40% of 2,4,5-trichlorophenol was mineralized during growth of A. eutrophus on chemostats fed with either phenol (0.4 mM) or 2,4,6-trichlorophenol (0.4 mM) plus 2,4,5-trichlorophenol (0.1 mM). Growth on 2,4,6-trihalophenols was also observed in A. Eutrophus JMP222, the strain lacking pJP4, suggesting that this new degradative ability reported for A. eutrophus is not related to pJP4 encoded catabolic functions.