The recA gene of Chlamydia trachomatis was isolated by complementation of an Escherichia coli recA mutant. The cloned gene restored resistance to methyl methanesulfonate in E. coli recA mutants. The DNA sequence of the chlamydial gene was determined and the deduced protein sequence compared with other RecA proteins. In E. coli recA deletion mutants, the cloned gene conferred moderate recombinational activity as assayed by Hfr matings. The chlamydial recA gene was efficient in repairing alkylated DNA but less so in repairing of UV damage when compared with the E. coli homologue. As detected by an SOS gene fusion, a small but measurable amount of LexA co-cleavage was indicated.