The periplasmically located cytochrome c(553i) of Paracoccus denitrificans was purified from cells grown aerobically on choline as the carbon source. The purified protein was digested with trypsin to obtain several protein fragments. The N-terminal regions of these fragments were sequenced. On the basis of one of these sequences, a mix of 17-mer oligonucleotides was synthesized. By using this mix as a probe, the structural gene encoding cytochrome c(553i) (cycB) was isolated. The nucleotide sequence of this gene was determined from a genomic bank. The N-terminal region of the deduced amino acid sequence showed characteristics of a signal sequence. Based on the deduced amino acid sequence of the mature protein, the calculated molecular weight is 22,427. The gene encoding cytochrome c(553i) was mutated by insertion of a kanamycin resistance gene. As a consequence of the mutation, cytochrome c(553i) was absent from the periplasmic protein fraction. The mutation in cycB resulted in a decreased maximum specific growth rate on methanol, while the molecular growth yield was not affected. Growth on methylamine or succinate was not affected at all. Upstream of cycB the 3' part of an open reading frame (ORF1) was identified. The deduced amino acid sequence of this part of ORF1 showed homology with methanol dehydrogenases from P. denitrificans and Methylobacterium extorquens AM1. In addition, it showed homology with other quinoproteins like alcohol dehydrogenase from Acetobacter aceti and glucose dehydrogenase from both Acinetobacter calcoaceticus and Escherichia coli. Immediately downstream from cycB, the 5' part of another open reading frame (ORF2) was found. The deduced amino acid sequence of this part of ORF2 showed homology with the moxJ gene products from P. denitrificans and M. extorquens AM1.