A novel aromatic-compound-degrading bacterium, strain T3-B9(T), was isolated from sediment of Taihu Lake, Jiangsu Province, south-east China. This bacterial isolate assimilated several aromatic compounds such as phenol, aniline, nitrobenzene, 4-chloronitrobenzene and phenanthrene. The taxonomy of strain T3-B9(T) was studied by polyphasic methods. The organism showed a range of phenotypic and chemotaxonomic properties consistent with those of the genus Novosphingobium. The 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity of strain T3-B9(T) to members of the genus Novosphingobium ranged from 91.6 to 97.5 %, and this isolate clustered phylogenetically with members of genus Novosphingobium. The DNA-DNA relatedness values of strain T3-B9(T) to the most phylogenetically related species, Novosphingobium subterraneum DSM 12447(T), Novosphingobium aromaticivorans ATCC 700278(T) and Novosphingobium stygium ATCC 700280(T), were 31, 33 and 14 %, respectively. The combined genotypic and phenotypic data show that strain T3-B9(T) represents a novel species of the genus Novosphingobium, for which the name Novosphingobium taihuense sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is T3-B9(T) (=AS 1.3432(T) = JCM 12465(T)).