The genome sequence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis was analysed by searching for homologues of genes known to be involved in the reversal or repair of DNA damage in Escherichia coli and related organisms. Genes necessary to perform nucleotide excision repair (NER), base excision repair (BER), recombination, and SOS repair and mutagenesis were identified. In particular, all of the genes known to be directly involved in the repair of oxidative and alkylative damage are present in M. tuberculosis. In contrast, we failed to identify homologues of genes involved in mismatch repair. This finding has potentially significant implications with respect to genome stability, strain variability at repeat loci and the emergence of chromosomally encoded drug resistance mutations.