We have cloned the entire human adenovirus type 5 (Ad5) genome into the pBR322 plasmid in two segments: the BamHI-A fragment (21 kb) and the BamHI-B fragment (15 kb). We have also generated a series of clones with smaller Ad5 DNA inserts, all containing the left-end of the viral genome. One such clone, pXCl, containing the left 16% of the Ad5 DNA molecule, has been shown to transform rodent cells by DNA transfection. We have used the transposable element Tn5 as an insertion mutator to isolate pXCl mutants containing Tn5 inserted at a large number of sites. By assaying transforming activity of selected pXC::Tn5 plasmids we have identified Ad5 sequences which are essential for DNA-mediated transformation. Our results with these mutants and with a plasmid pCD1, containing a deletion within the Ad5-transforming region, indicate that sequences present in both early region 1a and the N-terminal region of early region 1b are essential for DNA-mediated transformation.