The aim of this study was to determine the effect of toluene on an anaerobic sludge taken from a full-scale upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor in terms of potential activity and composition of acetoclastic methanogens. Specific methanogenic activity (SMA) test results showed that 5%, 9.5%, 14%, 24%, 29%, 38% and 62% inhibition occurred in the potential methane production (PMP) rate of the sludge at toluene concentrations of 0.1 mM, 0.2 mM, 0.3 mM, 0.4 mM, 0.5 mM, 0.6 mM and 1 mM, respectively. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) results showed that relative abundance of archaeal cells was approx. 19% throughout the SMA tests. The anaerobic sludge was dominated by acetoclastic genus Methanosaeta which were slightly affected by increasing toluene concentrations do not have any effect on relative abundance of Methanosaeta spp., which was between 73% +/- 1.6 and 68% +/- 2.1 of the archaeal population.