The degradation of pentachlorophenol (PCP) by a Flavobacterium sp. was investigated by inoculating induced cells into cultures containing PCP alone or PCP and glutamate as carbon sources. Using PCP as the sole carbon source, the degradation activity increased with PCP concentration. However, a lag phase was observed and this lag was more pronounced at higher PCP concentrations. Exposure of cells to higher PCP concentrations during induction did not reduce the lag. The presence of glutamate reduced the lag in PCP degradation. Such an elimination of the lag phase appears to be due to maintaining cell viability with the presence of glutamate.