By PCR (polymerase chain reaction) amplification and cloning, we have identified four group II self-splicing introns encoding proteins related to reverse transcriptases in natural Escherichia coli isolates belonging to the ECOR collection. One intron, IntD, interrupts a DNA sequence virtually identical to that of the previously described IS3411 Insertion Sequence. A second intron, IntC, is located within an open reading frame that is closely related to a reading frame in the T-DNA of Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Finally, introns IntA and IntB are inserted at two distinct sites in one of the Rhs elements of E. coli. A comparison of their open reading frames shows that the two Rhs introns are more closely related to each other than to any other known group II intron: this suggests that transposition of group II introns may occur preferentially in cis, along the same piece of DNA.