The toxicity and solubility of chromium(VI) can be decreased by certain microbes that reduce chromium(VI) to chromium(III). However, these bacteria do not escape unscathed from this process. Chromium(VI) reduction damages the essential macromolecules of living systems. Trehalose protects organisms from chemical stress but has not been tested in the context of bioremediation. We engineered bacteria to produce trehalose and found that they then reduced 1 mM chromium(VI) to chromium(III), whereas wild-type cells were only able to reduce half that amount. Thus, by providing bacteria with a biochemical defense against the side-effects of chromate reduction may be a new approach to cleaning up sites that are contaminated with high levels of chromate.