The gene for the thermostable arginase from the thermophilic bacterium 'Bacillus caldovelox' has been cloned and sequenced. Expression of recombinant arginase at high levels has been achieved in E. coli using an inducible T7 RNA polymerase-based system. A facile purification procedure incorporating a heat-treatment step yielded 0.2 g of recombinant arginase per litre of induced culture. The kinetic properties of the purified recombinant protein are essentially identical to the native enzyme. The recombinant protein has been crystallised and one crystal form is isomorphous to crystals of the native protein.