Hemoglobin homologs are being identified in an expanding number of unicellular prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. Many of these hemoglobins are two-domain proteins t hat possess a flavin-containing reductase in their C terminus. Determination of a function for these flavohemoglobins has been elusive. A Salmonella typhimurium strain harboring a deletion in the flavohemoglobin gene shows no difference in growth under oxidative stress conditions but displays an increased sensitivity to acidified nitrite and S- nitrosothiols, both of which produce nitric oxide. The effect is seen aerobically or anaerobically, indicating that oxygen is not required for flavohemoglobin function. These results suggest a role for the bacterial flavohemoglobins that is independent of oxygen metabolism and provide evidence for a bacterial route of protection from nitric oxide that is distinct from oxidative stress responses.