Polychlorinated benzenes were reductively dechlorinated by an enrichment culture containing the polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) dechlorinating bacterium DF-1. The culture dechlorinated hexachlorobenzene (hexa-CB) → pentachlorobenzene (penta-CB) → 1,2,3,5-tetrachlorobenzene (1,2,3,5-CB) → 1,3,5-trichlorobenzene (1,3,5-CB) and did not dechlorinate other tetrachlorobenzenes or any trichlorobenzenes. This restricted series of reactions is the most predominant and frequently reported pathway for the dechlorination of hexa-CB and penta-CB by enrichment cultures inoculated with either freshwater or estuarine sediments. The culture did not dechlorinate hydroxylated and methoxylated polychlorinated benzenes or a hydroxylated PCB. Bacterium DF-1 was detected by PCR/DGGE analysis following dechlorination of penta-CB but was not detected when a chlorinated benzene (CB) was not dechlorinated; detection of other members in the community was unaffected by the presence or absence of CB dechlorination. This is the first report of a bacterium that reductively dechlorinates both PCBs and CBs and the first identification of an organism that can dechlorinate a CB with more than four chlorines.