Transposons coding for beta-lactamases OXA-3, OXA-4, OXA-5, LCR-1, and CARB-3 have been isolated and compared functionally and structurally with transposons for TEM-1, OXA-1, PSE-1, PSE-2, and PSE-4 enzymes. Each beta-lactamase gene type occurred in a unit together with resistance to other antibiotics, particularly streptomycin and sulfonamide but also chloramphenicol, mercuric ion, or gentamicin, kanamycin, and tobramycin. Restriction mapping, gene cloning, and DNA hybridization were used to compare the transposons and to localize their functional components. Although the multiresistance beta-lactamase transposons varied in size from 8 to 25 kb, the similarity of some of their restriction maps suggested a common derivation. Six of 12 transposons contained DNA segments homologous to the tnpR gene of transposon Tn21 and could complement a tnpR- Tn21 derivative. Consequently, these six transposons appear to have evolved from a common progenitor by acquisition of DNA coding for various beta-lactamases and other resistance genes.