Salmonella typhimurium and S. typhi were transformed with high efficiency by electroporation. Transformation efficiencies of up to 10(10) transformants per microgram of pBR322 were obtained. In contrast to chemical transformation methods, neither the smooth lipopolysaccharide of S. typhimurium nor the Vi capsular polysaccharide of S. typhi greatly affected transformation efficiency. The introduction of a ga1E mutation slightly improved transformation efficiency in S. typhimurium (less than tenfold) while the Vi antigen of S. typhi had no detectable effect. The transformation efficiency of S. typhimurium with DNA derived from Escherichia coli was increased greatly by the removal of the hsd restriction system (100-fold). Under these conditions electroporation can be used for the routine and direct transformation of Salmonella strains with partially purified (alkaline lysis) plasmid DNA from E. coli.