The Bacillus subtilis genome contains genes for three hypothetical proteins belonging to the bicupin family, two of which we have previously shown to be Mn(II)-dependent oxalate decarboxylases. We have now shown that the third, YxaG, exhibits quercetin 2,3-dioxygenase activity and that it contains Fe ions. This contrasts with the eukaryotic enzyme which contains a Cu ion. YxaG is the first prokaryotic carbon monoxide-forming enzyme that utilises a flavonol to be characterised and is only the second example of a prokaryotic dioxygenolytic carbon monoxide-forming enzyme known to contain a cofactor. It is proposed to rename the B. subtilis gene qdoI.