The nucleotide sequence of the Lactococcus lactis broad-host-range plasmid pWVO1, replicating in both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, was determined. This analysis revealed four open reading frames (ORFs). ORF A appeared to encode a trans-acting 26.8-kDa protein (RepA), necessary for replication. The ORF C product was assumed to play a regulatory role in replication. Both RepA and the ORF C product showed substantial sequence similarity with the Rep proteins of the streptococcal plasmid pLS1. In addition, the plus origin of replication was identified on the basis of strong similarity with the plus origin of pLS1. Derivatives of pWVO1 produced single-stranded (ss) DNA in Bacillus subtilis and L. lactis, suggesting that this plasmid uses the rolling-circle mode of replication. In B. subtilis, but not in L. lactis, the addition of rifampicin resulted in increased levels of ssDNA, indicating that in the former organism the host-encoded RNA polymerase is involved in the conversion of the ssDNA to double-stranded plasmid DNA (dsDNA). Apparently, in L. lactis the conversion of ss to ds pWVO1 DNA occurs by a mechanism which does not require the host RNA polymerase.