The complete nucleotide sequence of the 8.7-kb theta-replicating plasmid pUCL287 from Tetragenococcus halophilus (formerly Pediococcus halophilus) ATCC33315 has been determined. The replication region was identified and analyzed. Its nucleotide sequence contains an untranslated region, the replication origin, followed by two open reading frames (ORFs) encoding two proteins of 311 (RepA287) and 168 (RepB287) amino acids, respectively. Evidence is presented to show that RepA287 represents the plasmid replication protein. RepB287, which is non-essential for replication, is involved in the plasmid copy-number control and segregational stability. The roles of lactococcal proteins homologous to RepB287 have not been defined so far. Nevertheless, the structural organization of the pUCL287 replication region is remarkably similar to those of well known theta-replicating lactococcal plasmids despite the absence of homology of the replication origin and of the replication protein, and this suggests that pUCL287 uses the same mechanism of replication. Nucleotide sequence comparisons show that pSMB74, a pediococcal plasmid encoding bacteriocin production, is a member of the pUCL287 replicon family.