Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae is the etiologic agent of porcine contagious pleuropneumonia, a cause of considerable world wide economic losses in the swine industry. We sequenced the complete genome of A. pleuropneumoniae, JL03, an isolate of serotype 3 prevalent in China. Its genome is a single chromosome of 2,242,062 base pairs containing 2,097 predicted protein-coding sequences, six ribosomal rRNA operons, and 63 tRNA genes. Preliminary analysis of the genomic sequence and the functions of the encoded proteins not only confirmed the present physiological and pathological knowledge but also offered new insights into the metabolic and virulence characteristics of this important pathogen. We identified a full spectrum of genes related to its characteristic chemoheterotrophic catabolism of fermentation and respiration with an incomplete TCA system for anabolism. In addition to confirming the lack of ApxI toxin, identification of a nonsense mutation in apxIVA and a 5'-proximal truncation of the flp operon deleting both its promoter and the flp1flp2tadV genes have provided convincing scenarios for the low virulence property of JL03. Comparative genomic analysis using the available sequences of other serotypes, probable strain (serotype)-specific genomic islands related to capsular polysaccharides and lipopolysaccharide O-antigen biosyntheses were identified in JL03, which provides a foundation for future research into the mechanisms of serotypic diversity of A. pleuropneumoniae.