Granular biomass from a laboratory-scale anaerobic bioreactor trial was analysed to identify changes in microbial community structure and function in response to temperature and trichloroethylene (TCE). Two bioreactors were operated at 37 degrees C, while two were operated at 15 degrees C. At the time of sampling, one of each temperature pair of bioreactors was exposed to process failure-inducing concentrations of TCE (60 mg L-1) while the other served as a TCE-free control. Bacterial community structure was investigated using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and 16S rRNA gene clone library analysis. Temperature was identified as an important factor for bacterial community composition, while minor differences were associated with trichloroethylene supplementation. Proteobacteria was the dominant phylum in all bioreactors, while clone library analysis revealed a higher proportion of Bacteroidetes-, Chloroflexi-, and Firmicutes-like clones at 15 degrees C than at 37 degrees C. Comparative metaproteomics in the presence and absence of TCE was carried out by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DGE), and 28 protein spots were identified, with putative functions related to cellular processes, including methanogenesis, glycolysis, the glyoxylate cycle, and the methyl malonyl pathway. A good agreement between metaproteomic species assignment and phylogenetic information was observed, with 10 of the identified proteins associated with members of the phylum Proteobacteria.