The self-transmissible megaplasmid pHG1 carries essential genetic information for the facultatively lithoautotrophic and facultatively anaerobic lifestyles of its host, the Gram-negative soil bacterium Ralstonia eutropha H16. We have determined the complete nucleotide sequence of pHG1. This megaplasmid is 452,156 bp in size and carries 429 potential genes. Groups of functionally related genes form loose clusters flanked by mobile elements. The largest functional group consists of lithoautotrophy-related genes. These include a set of 41 genes for the biosynthesis of the three previously identified hydrogenases and of a fourth, novel hydrogenase. Another large cluster carries the genetic information for denitrification. In addition to a dissimilatory nitrate reductase, both specific and global regulators were identified. Also located in the denitrification region is a set of genes for cytochrome c biosynthesis. Determinants for several enzymes involved in the mineralization of aromatic compounds were found. The genes for conjugative plasmid transfer predict that R.eutropha forms two types of pili. One of them is related to the type IV pili of pathogenic enterobacteria. pHG1 also carries an extensive "junkyard" region encompassing 17 remnants of mobile elements and 22 partial or intact genes for phage-type integrase. Among the mobile elements is a novel member of the IS5 family, in which the transposase gene is interrupted by a group II intron.