The methanotroph Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b, a type II methanotroph, degraded trichloroethylene at rates exceeding 1.2 mmol/h per g (dry weight) following the appearance of soluble methane monooxygenase in continuous and batch cultures. Cells capable of oxidizing trichloroethylene contained components of soluble methane monooxygenase as demonstrated by Western blot (immunoblot) analysis with antibodies prepared against the purified enzyme. Growth of cultures in a medium containing 0.25 μM or less copper sulfate caused derepression of the synthesis of soluble methane monooxygenase. In these cultures, the specific rates of methane and methanol oxidation did not change during growth, while trichloroethylene oxidation increased with the appearance of soluble methane monooxygenase. M. trichosporium OB3b cells that contained soluble methane monooxygenase also degraded vinyl chloride, 1,1-dichloroethylene, cis-1,2-dichloroethylene, and trans-1,2-dichloroethylene.