For 12 years, strains of Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 harbouring a 37.6-kb (23 MDa) plasmid have predominated among patient and potable water isolates at the Victoria General Hospital, Halifax, N.S. Plasmid DNA recovered from 24 strains isolated between 1983 and 1995 was digested with the restriction endonucleases EcoRI, HindIII, KpnI, PvuII, XbaI, and BamHI. The distribution of cutting sites indicated that the 23-MDa size group had remained essentially unchanged during this period, suggesting the persistence of a single plasmid type. Further fragmentation pattern analysis permitted the construction of a physical map of the prototype 23-MDA plasmid, pLp4269. Double digestion with BamHI-HindIII enabled the cloning of 94.4% of pLp4269 into pBluescript vector. A 2.1-kb fragment was not clonable. Plasmid pLp4269 is the first of the smaller Legionella extrachromosomal DNAs to be characterized in this way.