The Streptomyces ghanaensis plasmid pSG5 is self-transmissible but does not form the growth-retardation zones (pocks) normally characteristic of the Streptomyces plasmid-transfer process. The complete nucleotide sequence of pSG5 was determined on both strands. pSG5 is 12,208 bp in length and has a GC content of 68 mol%. Characterization of the open reading frames by insertion and deletion analysis revealed that only a single gene, traB, is involved in the transfer of pSG5. The deduced amino acid sequence of TraB is similar to the SpoIIIE protein that is responsible for chromosome translocation during prespore formation of Bacillus subtilis. In contrast to the tra genes of the other Streptomyces plasmids, the pSG5 traB does not represent a kill function. Although pSG5 transfer is not associated with pock formation, pSG5 was shown to possess putative spd genes that are responsible for the pock phenotype of other Streptomyces plasmids. However, promoter-probe experiments revealed that the spd genes of pSG5 are not transcribed, thus explaining the deficiency in pock formation.