Tetrachloroethene reductive dechlorination was studied with cell extracts of a newly isolated, tetrachloroethene-utilizing bacterium, Desulfitobacterium sp. strain PCE-S. Tetrachloroethene dehalogenase mediated the reductive dechlorination of tetrachloroethene and trichloroethene to cis-1,2-dichloroethene with artificial electron donors such as methyl viologen. The chlorinated aromatic compounds tested so far were not reduced. A low-potential electron donor (E0' < -0.4 V) was required for tetrachloroethene reduction. The enzyme in its reduced state was inactivated by propyl iodide and reactivated by light, indicating the involvement of a corrinoid in reductive tetrachloroethene dechlorination.