A homologue of the rpoS gene of Escherichia coli was cloned from Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 by hybridization with an oligodeoxyribonucleotide probe designed from an amino-acid stretch conserved among the principal sigma factors of eubacteria. Two open reading frames, the pcm gene and the orf-297 of unknown function, were found in the upstream region of rpoS, and in the same order as in E. coli. The rpoS gene of P. aeruginosa was expressed in E. coli and complemented the catalase deficiency of the rpoS mutant of E. coli. The RpoS protein of P. aeruginosa was identified by Western blot analysis in both P. aeruginosa (Pa) and the transformed E. coli. Levels of RpoS of Pa increased drastically at the onset of the stationary growth phase.