The genes for biosynthesis of the branched-chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine in Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis NCDO2118 were characterized by cloning, complementation in Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis, and nucleotide sequence analysis. Nine structural genes are clustered on a 12-kb DNA fragment in the order leuABCD ilvDBNCA. Upstream of these genes, the nucleotide sequence suggests the existence of regulation by transcriptional attenuation. Between the leuD and ilvD genes is an unexpected gene, encoding a protein which belongs to the ATP-binding cassette protein superfamily.