A mesophilic bacterium, strain An4, was isolated from an underground gas storage reservoir with methanol as substrate and perchlorate as electron acceptor. Cells were Gram-negative, spore-forming, straight to curved rods, 0.5-0.8 microm in diameter, and 2-8 microm in length, growing as single cells or in pairs. The cells grew optimally at 37 degrees C, and the pH optimum was around 7. Strain An4 converted various alcohols, organic acids, fructose, acetoin, and H(2)/CO(2) to acetate, usually as the only product. Succinate was decarboxylated to propionate. The isolate was able to respire with (per)chlorate, nitrate, and CO(2). The G+C content of the DNA was 42.6 mol%. Based on the 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, strain An4 was most closely related to Sporomusa ovata (98% similarity). The bacterium reduced perchlorate and chlorate completely to chloride. Key enzymes, perchlorate reductase and chlorite dismutase, were detected in cell-free extracts.