Escherichia coli K-12 mutants with an enhanced efficiency of plasmid transformation were obtained. In all the mutants, the efficiency of transfection with lambda vir phage DNA was changed, in comparison to the parent strain. However, these changes did not always correlate strictly with plasmid transformation alterations. For instance, two mutants with an increased plasmid transformation efficiency demonstrated 50-fold decrease in the level of transfection with lambda phage DNA. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis points to both quantitative and qualitative differences in protein composition of the mutant cell envelopes, as compared with the parent strain.