The aerobic and anaerobic degradation of trimethylamine by a newly isolated denitrifying bacterium from an enrichment culture with trimethylamine inoculated with activated sludge was studied. Based on 16S rDNA analysis, this strain was identified as a Paracoccus sp. The isolate, strain T231, aerobically degraded trimethylamine, dimethylamine and methylamine and released a stoichiometric amount of ammonium ion into the culture fluid as a metabolic product, indicating that these methylated amines were completely degraded to formaldehyde and ammonia. The strain degraded trimethylamine also under denitrifying conditions and consumed a stoichiometric amount of nitrate, demonstrating that complete degradation of trimethylamine was coupled with nitrate reduction. Cell-free extract prepared from cells grown aerobically on trimethylamine exhibited activities of trimethylamine mono-oxygenase, trimethylamine N-oxide demethylase, dimethylamine mono-oxygenase, and methylamine mono-oxygenase. Cell-free extract from cells grown anaerobically on trimethylamine and nitrate exhibited activities of trimethylamine dehydrogenase and dimethylamine dehydrogenase. These results indicate that strain T231 had two different pathways for aerobic and anaerobic degradation of trimethylamine. This is a new feature for trimethylamine metabolism in denitrifying bacteria.