In Salmonella typhimurium, the synthesis of the pyrimidine moiety of thiamine can occur by utilization of the first five steps in de novo purine biosynthesis or independently of the pur genes through the alternative pyrimidine biosynthetic, or APB, pathway (D. M. Downs, J. Bacteriol. 174:1515-1521, 1992). We have isolated the first mutations defective in the APB pathway. These mutations define the apbA locus and map at 10.5 min on the S. typhimurium chromosome. We have cloned and sequenced the apbA gene and found it to encode a 32-kDa polypeptide whose sequence predicts an NAD/flavin adenine dinucleotide-binding pocket in the protein. The phenotypes of apbA mutants suggest that, under some conditions, the APB pathway is the sole source of the pyrimidine moiety of thiamine in wild-type S. typhimurium, and furthermore, the pur genetic background of the strain influences whether this pathway can function under aerobic and/or anaerobic growth conditions.