The presence of highly conserved regions within previously determined porin gene sequences from Neisseria meningitidis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae permitted the construction of oligonucleotide primers for PCR amplification of other neisserial porin genes. Although two separate porin genes (porA and porB) are present in N. meningitidis only a single fragment, corresponding to porB, could be amplified from this species. The amplified porB genes from four different meningococcal serotypes, which express the class 3 outer membrane protein, were sequenced. Amplified fragments corresponding to porin genes from N. lactamica and N. sicca were also sequenced. In common with the known neisserial porins, models of the organisation of the predicted proteins indicated trans-membrane structures with eight surface exposed loops. In the meningococcal class 3 proteins the main regions of sequence variation, which must be responsible for serotype specificity, were located on loops 5 and 7. A phylogenetic analysis of the family of porins from the Neisseria confirmed the close relationship of the meningococcal class 3 protein with the gonococcal PIA protein, while the gonococcal PIB protein was shown to be closely related to the N. lactamica porin. The close relationship seen between porins of the pathogenic and non-pathogenic Neisseriae identified no obvious virulence-associated regions in the proteins, but did suggest that the current nomenclature for neisserial porin genes may need reviewing.