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Abstract Nine cultures were examined for growth at 37C in media with different levels of PCB and selected one culture to treat an industrial liquid waste containing high levels of PCB 1248. All the nine cultures grew well in the presence of 100 to 500 μg PCB 1254 mL−1 glucose basal salt broth (GBSB) as well as in tryptic soy broth (TSP) with no significant changes in generation time. The cultures grew well in basal salt agar containing PCB as sole source of carbon. Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Serratia liquefaciens strains survived for 75 to 120 min in the presence of 300 to 2000 μg PCB 1254 mL−1 sodium-phosphate buffer (SPB) pH 7.0. The P. aeruginosa cells removed both PCB 1254 and 14C-PCB from SPB and GBSB within 48 h and the percent uptakes were 26 and 39.7%, respectively. The results of the fate and distribution of PCB 1254, including 14C-PCB, in cells of P. aeruginosa, S. liquefaciens, and two Bacillus strains grown in PCB-media showed that more than 50% of the 14C-PCB were in the alcohol and in alcohol-ether soluble fractions (mostly lipids). This was also confirmed after rupturing the P. aeruginosa cells using French pressure and/or lysozyme and fractionation. Both the intrinsic flora and P. aeruginosa strain were used in a bioreactor system for the treatments of 27 and 33 gallons industrial liquid waste containing 150 and/or 800 mg PCB 12481 1−1, respectively, and complete oxidation was achieved, within approximately 150 days and the biological half-life of the PCB was 30 and 15 days, respectively.