The Tn1 and Tn3 elements are closely related transposons which carry the structural gene for ampicillin resistance. Two classes of deletion mutants of the plasmid pMB8::Tn3 (RSF1050) are unable to transpose ampicillin resistance but can be complemented in trans by a coresident Tn1 or Tn3 element. The analysis of the sequences transposed upon complementation of one class of mutants (type I) showed that the mutant element had undergone bona fide transposition. Complementation of the type II mutants led to the transposition of a sequence analogous to bacteriophage mu-promoted integration of non-mu DNA. The transposed sequence consisted of two Tn3 elements which flanked a single copy of the pMB8 portion of the RSF1050 genome. Complementation data indicated that the type II mutants are defective in at least one trans-acting function which must be supplied for transposition to occur. The nature of sequence transposed from the type II mutant is the consequence of a defective cis-acting function (or site). In addition, the type II mutants were defective in a trans-acting function which regulated the frequency of transposition.