The cryptic plasmid pRUT41 from Zymomonas mobilis was examined for its biological properties. This plasmid was found to be conjugally transferred from Z. mobilis CP4 to Escherichia coli BM21 and to carry genes for antibiotic resistance (gentamicin, kanamycin, and streptomycin). Covalently closed circular plasmid DNA was isolated from eight transconjugants of E. coli BM21. These plasmids were identical in mobility on agarose gels and exhibited the same restriction patterns as the native pRUT41 plasmid isolated from Z. mobilis. The plasmid location of the antibiotic resistance genes was further confirmed by transforming E. coli BM21 with isolated pRUT41 plasmid from strain CP4 and with plasmids from the transconjugants of BM21. Resistance to streptomycin, kanamycin, and gentamicin was tightly linked and transferred together in all cases.