Insertion sequence (IS) elements are mobile genetic elements found in prokaryotes. We have identified a repetitive element from Mycoplasma pulmonis, a murine pathogen, that is similar to eubacterial IS elements. By subcloning a single strain of M. pulmonis, we isolated a variant clone in which the IS element had undergone an apparent transposition event. The nucleotide sequences of the element, designated IS1138, and the target site into which it inserted were determined. IS1138 consists of 1288 bp with 18 bp perfect terminal inverted repeats. Sequence analysis of the target site before and after insertion of IS1138 identified a 3 bp duplication of target DNA flanking the element. The predicted amino acids encoded by the major open reading frame of IS1138 share significant similarity with the transposases of the IS3 family. Southern hybridization analysis indicates that repetitive sequences similar to IS1138 are present in most, if not all, strains of M. pulmonis, but IS1138-like sequences were not detected in other mycoplasmal species.