A chloramphenicol-resistance determinant (CmR), originally cloned from Campylobacter coli plasmid pNR9589 in Japan, was isolated and the nucleotide sequence determined, which contained an open reading frame of 621 bp. The gene product was identified as Cm acetyltransferase (CAT), which had a putative amino acid sequence that showed 43% to 57% identity with other CAT proteins of both Gram+ and Gram- origin. Although expression of the cat gene was constitutive in both C. coli and Escherichia coli, results of primer extension experiments indicated that transcription was initiated at different sites in these two species. A kanamycin-resistance determinant, identified as the aphA-3 gene, was located downstream from the cat gene. The codon usage of the cat gene is very different from that used in E. coli, however, the CAT polypeptide was synthesized in large amounts in E. coli maxicells. Therefore, the codon usage bias is not one of the obstacles which affects Campylobacter spp. gene expression in E. coli. New Campylobacter cloning vectors were constructed in this study.