An NADH--rubredoxin oxidoreductase previously isolated from Desulfovibrio gigas [LeGall, J. (1968) Ann. Inst. Pasteur 114, 109-115] has now been fully purified and further characterized. It contains two subunits of 27 kDa and 32 kDa. With two mid-point redox potentials of -295 mV and -325 mV, this FMN- and FAD-containing protein can induce the specific reduction of D. gigas rubredoxin. In contrast, rubredoxins from the other Desulfovibrio species or desulforedoxin from D. gigas show very low reaction rates with the same enzyme. The phylogenetic significance of the narrow specificity of the enzyme toward the rubredoxin from the same organism is discussed. The purified enzyme has NADH oxidase activity with H2O2 as a final product of O2 reduction. The reaction is half-inhibited by 4.2 microM p-chloromercuribenzoate, whereas cyanide and azide are not significant inhibitors in this reaction. The role of this protein as a part of the enzymic equipment that allows the formation of ATP in the presence of oxygen from the degradation of carbon reserves is discussed.