The production of cytochrome c peroxidase (CCP) from Pseudomonas (Ps.) stutzeri (ATCC 11607) was optimized by adjusting the composition of the growth medium and aeration of the culture. The protein was isolated and characterized biochemically and spectroscopically in the oxidized and mixed valence forms. The activity of Ps. stutzeri CCP was studied using two different ferrocytochromes as electron donors: Ps. stutzeri cytochrome C-551 (the physiological electron donor) and horse heart cytochrome c. These electron donors interact differently with Ps. stutzeri CCP, exhibiting different ionic strength dependence. The CCP from Paracoccus (Pa.) denitrificans was proposed to have two different Ca2+ binding sites: one usually occupied (site I) and the other either empty or partially occupied in the oxidized enzyme (site II). The Ps. stutzeri enzyme was purified in a form with tightly bound Ca2+. The affinity for Ca2+ in the mixed valence enzyme is so high that Ca2+ returns to it from the EGTA which was added to empty the site in the oxidized enzyme. Molecular mass determination by ultracentrifugation and behavior on gel filtration chromatography have revealed that this CCP is isolated as an active dimer, in contrast to the Pa. denitrificans CCP which requires added Ca2+ for formation of the dimer and also for activation of the enzyme. This is consistent with the proposal that Ca2+ in the bacterial peroxidases influences the monomer/dimer equilibrium and the transition to the active form of the enzyme. Additional Ca2+ does affect both the kinetics of oxidation of horse heart cytochrome c (but not cytochrome C-551) and higher aggregation states of the enzyme. This suggests the presence of a superficial Ca2+ binding site of low affinity.