The 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D)-degradative bacterium Achromobacter xylosoxidans subsp. denitrificans strain EST4002, isolated in Estonia more than 10years ago, was found to contain the 70kb plasmid pEST4011 that is responsible for the bacterium having had obtained a stable 2,4-D(+) phenotype. The tfd-like genes for 2, 4-D degradation of the strain EST4002 were located on a 10.5kb region of pEST4011, but without functional genes coding for chloromuconate cycloisomerase and chlorodienelactone hydrolase. The latter two genes are probably encoded by homologous, tcb-like genes, located elsewhere on pEST4011. We also present evidence of two copies of insertion element IS1071-like sequences on pEST4011. IS1071 is a class II (Tn3 family) insertion element, associated with different catabolic genes and operons and globally distributed in the recent past. We speculate that this insertion element might have had a role in the formation of plasmid pEST4011. The 28kb plasmid pEST4012 is generated by deletion from pEST4011 when cells of A. xylosoxidans EST4002 are grown in the absence of 2,4-D in growth medium. We propose that this is the result of homologous recombination between the two putative copies of IS1071-like sequences on pEST4011.