E.p.r- (electron-paramagnetic-resonance) spectroscopy was used to compare chemical environment and reactivity of molybdenum, flavin and iron-sulphur centres in the enzyme xanthine dehydrogenase from Veillonella alcalescens (Micrococcus lactilyticus) with those of the corresponding centres in milk xanthine oxidase. The dehydrogenase is frequently contaminated with small but variable amounts of a species resistant to oxidation and giving a new molybdenum (V) e.p.r. signal, "Resting I". There is also a "desulpho" form of the enzyme giving a Slow Mo(V) signal, indistinguishable from that of the milk enzyme. Molybdenum of the active enzyme behaves in a manner analogous to that of the milk enzyme, giving a Rapid Mo(V) signal on partial reduction with substrates or dithionite. Detailed comparison shows that molybdenum in each enzyme must have the same ligand atoms arranged in the same manner. As with the milk enzyme, complex-formation between reduced dehydrogenase and purine substrate molecules, presumably interacting at the normal substrate-binding site, modifies the Rapid signal, confirming that such substrates interact near molybdenum. The dehydrogenase-flavin semiquinone signal is identical with that of the oxidase but, in contrast, there is only one iron-sulphur signal. The latter gives an e.p.r. spectrum similar to that of aldehyde oxidase.