Examination of 12 Chlamydia psittaci strains recovered from nine different host species (three avian and six mammalian) revealed the presence of a 7.5 kb plasmid in all isolates except two ovine abortion strains, the human strain IOL207 and the Cal 10 strain. Restriction mapping analysis distinguished four different plasmids that were associated with avian, feline, equine and guinea-pig C. psittaci isolates, respectively. The restriction maps of these four C. psittaci plasmid types all differed from that of the plasmid recovered from C. trachomatis L2/434. Despite this plasmid diversity, which is likely to be of taxonomic importance, all four plasmids identified within the species C. psittaci were found to share some sequence homology, which was mapped to two separate regions in the plasmid molecules. One region, which showed a high degree of homology between C. psittaci plasmids and also detectable homology with the C. trachomatis plasmid, may represent a common replication control region for plasmids of this genus.