The cloned bphA gene of the polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) degrader Rhodococcus sp. strain RHA1 was expressed in Rhodococcus erythropolis IAM1399 cells, resulting in the transformation of di-, tri-, and tetrachlorobiphenyls. Disruption of the bphA1 gene in RHA1 resulted in a lack of growth on biphenyl and a loss of PCB transformation activity. However, the bphA1 insertion mutant of RHA1, designated RDA1, retained the ability to transform PCB congeners when grown on ethylbenzene as its carbon source. It also transformed 4-chlorobiphenyl to 4-chlorobenzoate, although it was suspected to be deficient in bphB and bphC gene activities as well as bphA. This suggested that an alternative PCB degradation system distinct from the one encoded by the cloned bph genes was present.