The complete 11,139-nucleotide sequence of transposon Tn1721 has been determined. It contains three 38-bp inverted repeats, and (in this order) a new orfI, a resolution site (res), genes encoding resolvase (tnpR), transposase (tnpA), tetracycline-resistance (TcR) repressor (tetR), TcR (tetA) and a truncated transposase gene (tnpA'). The modulator origin of Tn1721 from at least three separate sources is supported by the distinctive codon usages of orfI, tnpR/tnpA and tetR/tetA, and by sequence similarities with Tn501 (tnpR/tnpA) and RP1 (tetR/tetA). The ORFI-encoded 56-kDa polypeptide exhibits features of a methyl-accepting chemotaxis protein (MCP) with a conserved signal domain and a potential transmembrane domain; this polypeptide cross-reacts with anti-MCP antiserum. Like chemotaxis genes, orfI is transcribed from a sigma 28-like promoter. The overexpressed orfI gene product interferes with MCP-dependent chemotaxis suggesting that it completes for soluble transducer protein(s) in the cell. The potential selective advantage of this novel transposon-borne gene is discussed.