A trichloroethylene (TCE)-degrading bacterium was isolated from an aquifer sample collected at a TCE-polluted site in Japan by enriching with phenol as sole carbon source. The isolate, designated strain KP23T, was a Gram-negative, oval-shaped micro-organism. A phylogenetic study based on 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that strain KP23T should be placed in the genus Burkholderia. Cellular fatty acids of the strain were mainly composed of C16:0, cyclopropanic acid C17:0 and cyclopropanic acid C19:0. Strain KP23T also contained notable amounts of C13:1 and C17:1. The G + C content of total DNA was 64.8 mol%. Strain KP23T oxidized various sugars and sugar alcohols as sole carbon source such as galactose, glucose, mannose, maltose, glycerol, inositol and mannitol. Comparisons of its phenotypic and genotypic characteristics with other known species belonging to the genus Burkholderia suggested that strain KP23T represents a new species in the genus. The name Burkholderia kururiensis is proposed for this species, with strain KP23T as the type strain (= JCM 10599T).