Genomes are constantly evolving. Our report highlights the wide mutational diversity of clinical as well as environmental isolates, compared with the laboratory strain(s), through the systematic genetic analysis of a chromosomal porin gene (oprD) in relation to a specific antibiotic resistance. Mutational inactivation of the oprD gene is associated with carbapenem resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The sequence of the oprD gene of 55 Pseudomonas aeruginosa natural isolates obtained from across the world--from sources as diverse as patients and rhizospheres--was analysed. A microscale mosaic structure for this gene--resulting from multiple intra- and possibly interspecies recombinational events--is reported. An array of independent and seemingly fast-occurring defective oprD mutations were found, none of which had been described before. A burn wound isolate demonstrated unusually high overall sequence variability typical of mutator strains. We also present evidence for the existence of OprD homologues in other fluorescent pseudomonads.