A fluorene-degrading strain named USTB-C was isolated from crude oil of production well in Dagang oil field, southeast of Tianjin, northeast China. The 16S rDNA sequence of USTB-C showed 100% similarity with that of Rhodococcus erythropolis PR4, it was belonged to Rhodococcus
. The strain USTB-C could remove 55.8% of fluorene with an initial concentration of 100 mg L-1
in 23 days without other substrates. It implied that the strain USTB-C showed the potential to degrading efficient of fluorene. Based on the intermediate metabolites analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), we deduced the possible metabolic pathway of strain USTB-C for fluorene biodegradation. Fluorene was initially oxidized at C-9 positions finally resulting 9-fluorenone. Through hydrolysis reaction, 9-fluorene subject to form phthalic acid. Furthermore, phthalic acid was further degraded to 1 -hydroxybenzene. USTB-C evidently possesses efficient, high effective degrader and potential for further application on the enhanced bioremediation technologies for treating fluorene-contaminated soil.