Four new Escherichia coli cloning vectors are described, pUC6S, pUC21, pUK21 and pOK12. These vectors contain a polylinker or multiple cloning site (MCS) with the recognition sequences for 28 restriction enzymes. Plasmids pUC21, pUK21, and pOK12 contain the MCS in the N-terminal end of the lacZ alpha fragment allowing blue/white screening for inserts. To potentially increase the stability of some inserts that may encode toxic proteins, the strength of the lacZ promoter present on these vectors has been reduced. Plasmids pUC6S and pUC21 carry the bla gene encoding ampicillin resistance, while pUK21 and pOK12 contain the gene encoding kanamycin resistance. Plasmid pOK12 carries the replicon from P15A, resulting in a lower copy number pUC-type vector. Plasmid pUC6S carries the ori and bla gene present on all pUC vectors, but does not contain any lac sequences. Plasmids pUC21 and pUK21 contain the M13 intergenic region allowing for the production of plasmid single-stranded DNA. To improve the yield of ss plasmid DNA, two plasmid cis-acting factors that affect yield were also examined: the effect of plasmid-derived transcription across the M13 ori, and the effect of delecting the M13 minus-strand ori from the plasmid.