Versatile DNA polylinkers of more than 300 bp were constructed. They contain the recognition sequences of all restriction enzymes--whether known or still to be discovered--that recognize palindromic hexamers. In addition to these 64 uninterrupted hexameric recognition sites, a number of sites containing interrupted palindromes and nonpalindromic sequences and two recognition sequences with 8 bp are present. Polylinkers (in several variants) were inserted into frequently utilized Escherichia coli cloning vectors such as pBluescript (yielding pSLJ10, pSL250, pSL260, pSL270, and pSL300), pUC18/pUC19 (yielding pSL180 and pSL190, respectively), or pUC118/pUC119 (yielding pSL1180 and pSL1190, respectively). A subtle color discrimination between presence and absence of insert in pSL300 (mid-blue to light-blue or white) was seen in a number of test ligations. The mid-blue color that is generated by pSL300 is presumably due to translational restarts. A different intergenic region for translational restarts was used in plasmids pSL251, pSL261, pSL271, and pSL301. The polylinker was also inserted into expression vector pUC120, yielding pSE1200, and into expression vector pKK233-2, yielding pSE220 and a shortened version thereof, pSE280. Finally, the polylinker was inserted into pTrc99A, resulting in pSE380, which carries a lac repressor gene. This expands the use of the expression system beyond lacIq strains to other bacterial hosts. These versatile vectors have broad applications in genetic engineering.