Methyltransferases (MTases) of procaryotes affect general cellular processes such as mismatch repair, regulation of transcription, replication, and transposition, and in some cases may be essential for viability. As components of restriction-modification systems, they contribute to bacterial genetic diversity. The genome of Helicobacter pylori strain 26695 contains 25 open reading frames encoding putative DNA MTases. To assess which MTase genes are active, strain 26695 genomic DNA was tested for cleavage by 147 restriction endonucleases; 24 were found that did not cleave this DNA. The specificities of 11 expressed MTases and the genes encoding them were identified from this restriction data, combined with the known sensitivities of restriction endonucleases to specific DNA modification, homology searches, gene cloning and genomic mapping of the methylated bases m(4)C, m(5)C, and m(6)A.