With resorcinol as sole source of energy and organic carbon, two stains of gram-negative, nitrate-reducing bacteria were isolated under strictly anaerobic conditions. Strain LuBRes1 was facultatively anaerobic and catalase- and superoxide dismutase-positive. This strain was affiliated with Alcaligenes denitrificans on the basis of substrate utilization spectrum and peritrichous flagellation. Strain LuFRes1 could grow only under anaerobic conditions with oxidized nitrogen compounds as electron acceptor. Cells were catalase-negative but superoxide dismutase-positive. Since this strain was apparently an obligate nitrate reducer, it could not be grouped with any existing genus. Resorcinol was completely oxidized to CO2 by both strains. Neither an enzyme activity reducing or hydrolyzing the resorcinol molecule, nor an acyl-CoA-synthetase activating resorcylic acids or benzoate was detected in cell-free extracts of cells grown with resorcinol. In dense cell suspensions, both strains produced a compound which was identified as 5-oxo-2-hexenoic acid by mass spectrometric analysis. This would indicate a direct, hydrolytic cleavage of the resorcinol nucleus without initial reduction.