A culture-independent phylogenetic survey for an anaerobic trichlorobenzene-transforming microbial community was carried out. Small-subunit rRNA genes were PCR amplified from community DNA by using primers specific for Bacteria or Euryarchaeota and were subsequently cloned. Application of a new hybridization-based screening approach revealed 51 bacterial clone families, one of which was closely related to dechlorinating Dehalobacter species. Several clone sequences clustered to rDNA sequences obtained from a molecular study of an anaerobic aquifer contaminated with hydrocarbons and chlorinated solvents (Dojka et al., Appl. Env. Microbiol. 64:3869–3877, 1998).