A search of the complete genome sequence of the halophilic archaeon Halobacterium salinarum failed to identify a gene homologous to the thymidylate synthase (thyA) gene present in the closely related Haloferax volcanii. To understand the source of thymidine synthesis in Hbt. salinarum, a genomic library of Hbt. salinarum was constructed and used to complement a Hfx. volcanii thyA deletion mutation. The Hbt. salinarum ORF that complemented the thyA mutation shares sequence homology with ORFs found in numerous microorganisms that lack a thyA gene, including the recently discovered thyX of Helicobacter pylori. We also show that a homolog of the Hbt. salinarum ORF is present in Campylobacter jejuni and is able to complement an Escherichia coli thyA mutant under oxygen-limiting conditions.