The dibenzofuran-degrading bacterial strain DPO360 represents a new species of the genus Terrabacter together with the previously described dibenzofuran-mineralizing bacterial strain DPO1361 (K.-H. Engesser, V. Strubel, K. Christoglou, P. Fischer, and H. G. Rast, FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 65:205-210, 1989; V. Strubel, Ph.D. thesis, University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany, 1991; V. Strubel, H. G. Rast, W. Fietz, H.-J. Knackmuss, and K.-H. Engesser, FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 58:233-238, 1989). Two 2,3-dihydroxybiphenyl-1,2-dioxygenases (BphC1 and BphC2) and one catechol-2,3-dioxygenase (C23O) were shown to be expressed in Terrabacter sp. strain DPO360 growing with dibenzofuran as a sole source of carbon and energy. These enzymes exhibited strong sensitivity to oxygen. They were purified to apparent homogeneity as homodimers (BphC and BphC2) and as a homotetrameric catechol-2,3-dioxygenase (C23O). According to their specificity constants kcat/Km, both BphC1 and BphC2 were shown to be responsible for the cleavage of 2,2',3-trihydroxybiphenyl, the first metabolite in dibenzofuran mineralization along the angular dioxygenation pathway. With this substrate, BphC2 exhibited a considerably higher kcat/Km, value (183 microM/min) than BphC1 (29 microM/min). Catechol-2,3-dioxygenase was recognized to be not involved in the ring cleavage of 2,2',3-trihydroxybiphenyl (kcat/Km, 1 microM/min). Analysis of deduced amino acid sequence data of bphC1 revealed 36% sequence identity to nahC from Pseudomonas putida PpG7 (S. Harayama and M. Rekik, J. Biol. Chem. 264:15328-15333, 1989) and about 40% sequence identity to various bphC genes from different Pseudomonas and Rhodococcus strains. In addition, another 2,3-dihydroxybiphenyl-1,2-dioxygenase gene (bphC3) was cloned from the genome of Terrabacter sp. strain DPO360. Expression of this gene, however, could not be detected in Terrabacter sp. strain DPO360 after growth with dibenzofuran.