The gene (prs) encoding phosphoribosylpyrophosphate (PRPP) synthetase has been cloned from a library of Bacillus subtilis DNA by complementation of an Escherichia coli prs mutation. Flanking DNA sequences were pruned away by restriction endonuclease and exonuclease BAL 31 digestions, resulting in a DNA fragment of approx. 1.8 kb complementing the E. coli prs mutation. Minicell experiments revealed that this DNA fragment coded for a polypeptide, shown to be the PRPP synthetase subunit, with an Mr of approx. 40,000. B. subtilis strains harbouring the prs gene in a multicopy plasmid contained up to nine-fold increased PRPP synthetase activity. The prs gene was cloned in an integration vector and the resulting hybrid plasmid inserted into the B. subtilis chromosome by homologous recombination. The integration site was mapped by transduction and the gene order established as purA-guaA-prs-cysA.