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Strain EbN1 is an aromatic-degrading bacteria found in freshwater and soil habitats. A unique property of strain EbN1 is its capacity to degrade toluene and ethylbenzene via two different, strictly anaerobic pathways. The absence of nitrogen fixation and specific interaction with plants separates EbN1 ecophysiologically from the closely related nitrogen-fixing plant symbionts of the Azoarcus cluster.