A plasmid that is able to replicate in both Escherichia coli and Streptococcus sanguis has been constructed by the in vitro joining of the pACYC184 (Cmr Tcr) and pVA749 (Emr) replicons. This plasmid, designated pVA838, is 9.2 kb in size and expresses Emr in both E. coli and S. sanguis. Its Cmr marker is expressed only in E. coli and may be inactivated by addition of DNA inserts at its internal EcoRI or PvuII sites. The pVA838 molecule also contains unique SalI, SphI, BamHI, NruI and XbaI cleavage sites suitable for molecular cloning. pVA838 may be amplified in E. coli but not in S. sanguis. We have used the pVA838 plasmid as a shuttle vector to clone streptococcal plasmid fragments in E. coli. Such chimeras isolated from E. coli were readily introduced into S. sanguis by transformation.