Abstract 2-Methylisoborneol (MIB), a metabolite of blue–green algae, has been implicated in causing unpalatable drinking water throughout the world. Current non-biological water treatment technologies are ineffective in removing MIB from potable water or are cost-prohibitive, and biological applications may address these problems. We have isolated and characterized a bacterium derived from lake water and capable of aerobically degrading MIB. Light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy revealed that this strain is a spore-forming, flagellated bacterium that is bacilloid in shape, and 16S rRNA phylogenetic analysis determined that it is most closely related to Bacillus fusiformis and Bacillus sphaericus, both members of the Bacillus sphaericus senso lato taxon. While the growth and oxidation potential of this strain was shown to be affected beyond certain MIB concentrations in the mg/l range, it was capable of depleting MIB at mg/l and ng/l concentrations and of removing MIB to concentrations yielding no observed odor.