Using Southern blotting analysis with labelled mycoplasmal ribosomal RNA as probe, two fragments (1 Kb and 5 Kb) were detected in an EcoR I digest of Mycoplasma capricolum DNA. This analysis revealed that the 5 Kb fragment carries both 16S rRNA sequences and the entire 23S rRNA gene of this mycoplasma. The 1 Kb fragment contains 16S rRNA sequences only. The 5 Kb EcoR I fragment has been cloned and used to characterize the structure of rRNA cistrons in various Mycoplasma strains. These experiments clearly demonstrate a substantial homology of Mycoplasma capricolum rRNA sequences with the E. coli rRNA cistron on one hand, and with Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. capri and Acholeplasma laidlawii on the other hand. This analysis also reveals two rRNA cistrons in Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. capri and Acholeplasma laidlawii whereas one rRNA cistron is present in Mycoplasma capricolum.