Lipolysaccharide was isolated from Chromatium vinosum by phenol/water extraction. The lipopolysaccharide is found exclusively in the phenol phase and can be cleaved into a sugar moiety and a lipid A fraction by hydrolysis in 10% acetic acid at 100 degrees C for 3-4 h. The sugar moiety contains the neutral sugars 3-O-methyl-D-ribose, D-ribose, L-arabinose, mannosamine and glucose, and smaller quantities of D-rhamnose, D-glycero-D-manno-heptose (tentatively identified), quinovosamine and 2-keto-3-deoxyoctonate. L-glycero-D-manno-heptose was not detected. The 2-keto-3-deoxyoctonate linkage in C. vinosum lipopolysaccharide is more resistant to acid hydrolysis than that of Escherichia coli. The lipid A fraction contains glucosamine, mannose and the fatty acids of the lipopolysaccharide. The major fatty acid is beta-hydroxymyristic acid, with smaller amounts of lauric and palmitic acids as well as 14-carbon mono-unsaturated fatty acid, also being present. The phosphorus content of the C. vinosum lipopolysaccharide was found to be approximately 0.1%. Erythrocytes sensitized with alkali-treated C. vinosum lipopolysaccharide were agglutinated by antisera prepared against heat-killed cells. Untreated or heat-treated lipopolysaccharide did not sensitize erythrocytes. The lethal toxicity to mice of the C. vinosum lipopolysaccharide is about one-tenth as that from Salmonella abortus equi.