The nucleotide sequence of the aadB gene which confers resistance to kanamycin, gentamicin, and tobramycin has been determined. The size of the longest reading frame is 747 bases encoding a protein of predicted size 27,992 daltons. A segment of the aadB gene sequence (including the promoter region) was found upstream of the aadA gene in R538-1 and of the dhfrII gene in R388 and the proposed promoters for these genes coincide with the aadB promoter region. The sequence homology extends upstream to the end of the sequenced regions of R388 and R538-1. Almost perfect homology was also found between the sequences 3'- to the aadB gene and 3'- to the aadA genes of R538-1 and pSa. This segment includes a 59 base element previously found flanking the Tn7 aadA gene. A model is presented for the evolution of this region of the plasmid genomes in which the 59- base element functions as an insertional "hot spot" and the possibility that this region is analogous to the aadA/aadB region of the Tn21- like transposon family is considered.