We describe a family of highly conserved, Enterobacterial Repetitive Intergenic Consensus (ERIC) sequences, 14 of which have been identified in Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium and a further three in other enterobacterial species (Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Vibrio cholerae). ERIC sequences are 126 bp long and appear to be restricted to transcribed regions of the genome, either in intergenic regions of polycistronic operons or in untranslated regions upstream or downstream of open reading frames. ERIC sequences are highly conserved at the nucleotide sequence level but their chromosomal locations differ between species. Several features of ERIC sequences resemble those of REP sequences (Stern et al., 1984) although the nucleotide sequence is entirely different. The question of whether ERICs have a specific function, or represent a form of 'selfish' DNA, is discussed.