The gene coding for protein A (spa) has been mapped close to nov on the genetic map of the chromosome of Staphylococcus aureus 8325-4. A rapid mapping procedure has been developed which first allowed the region of the chromosome carrying the spa gene to be identified by blot +hybridization of large DNA fragments which had been separated by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Restriction endonuclease SmaI fragment G was shown to carry the spa gene. An insertion mutation in spa was constructed by in vitro insertion of a fragment of DNA expressing resistance to kanamycin and neomycin. A spa::Kan(r)Neo(r) mutation was isolated in S. aureus 8325-4 by allele replacement. This provided a selectable marker which allowed the spa gene to be mapped by transformation analysis.