We have worked out conditions for the study of competence development and genetic transformation in Streptococcus oralis NCTC 11427 (type strain), a species that contains choline in the cell wall. The peak of competence was found at the early exponential phase of growth and the optimal conditions for transformation were achieved with shuttle plasmids prepared from S. pneumoniae or from Escherichia coli serving as donor DNA. Transformation with dye-buoyant density gradient purified plasmid preparations followed first-order kinetics. The pneumococcal amidase can be expressed in S. oralis harbouring a plasmid carrying the lytA gene. This enzyme lysed the cell wall of the transformed cell in the presence of detergents.