A hybrid plasmid from the Clarke and Carbon collection has been isolated. This plasmid carries the trmA gene of E. coli, which is necessary for the formation of 5-methyluridine (m5U,ribothymidine) present in all transfer ribonucleic acid (tRNA) chains of the organism so far sequenced. A restriction map of the argCBH-trmA regions is presented. By using cloning in vitro, the trmA gene was located on a 2.9-kilobase pair deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) fragment. These results and comparison with lambda dargECBH transducing phages established the gene order: argECBH trmA bfe in the 88-min region of the E. coli chromosomal map. Plasmids carrying this 2.9-kilobase pair DNA fragment overproduce the enzyme tRNA(m5U)methyltransferase (EC 126.96.36.199) 20 to 40 times. When this 2.9-kilobase pair chromosomal DNA fragment was expressed in a minicell system, a polypeptide of a molecular weight of 42,000 was synthesized. This polypeptide was tentatively identified as the tRNA(m5U)methyltransferase. These results support the earlier suggestion that the trmA gene is the structural gene for the tRNA(m5U)methyltransferase.