The completed genome sequence of the temperate Streptomyces phage straight phiC31 is reported. straight phiC31 contains genes that are related by sequence similarities to several other dsDNA phages infecting many diverse bacterial hosts, including Escherichia, Arthrobacter, Mycobacterium, Rhodobacter, Staphylococcus, Bacillus, Streptococcus, Lactobacillus and Lactococcus. These observations provide further evidence that dsDNA phages from diverse bacterial hosts are related and have had access to a common genetic pool. Analysis of the late genes was particularly informative. The sequences of the head assembly proteins (portal, head protease and major capsid) were conserved between straight phiC31, coliphage HK97, staphylococcal phage straight phiPVL, two Rhodobacter capsulatus prophages and two Mycobacterium tuberculosis prophages. These phages and prophages (where non-defective) from evolutionarily diverse hosts are, therefore, likely to share a common head assembly mechanism i.e. that of HK97. The organisation of the tail genes in straight phiC31 is highly reminiscent of tail regions from other phage genomes. The unusual organisation of the putative lysis genes in straight phiC31 is discussed, and speculations are made as to the roles of some inessential early gene products. Similarities between certain phage gene products and eukaryotic dsDNA virus proteins were noted, in particular, the primase/helicases and the terminases (large subunits). Furthermore, the complete sequence clarifies the overall transcription map of the phage during lytic growth and the positions of elements involved in the maintenance of lysogeny.