A newClostridium perfringens-Escherichia coli shuttle plasmid has been constructed and its complete DNA sequence compiled. The vector, pJIR418, contains the replication regions from theC. perfringens replicon pIP404 and theE. coli vector pUC18. The multiple cloning site and lacZ gene from pUC18 are also present, which means that X-gal screening can be used to select recombinants inE. coli. Both chloramphenicol and erythromycin resistance can be selected inC. perfringens andE. coli since pJIR418 carries theC. perfringens catP and ermBP genes. Insertional inactivation of either the catP or ermBP genes can also be used to directly screen recombinants in both organisms. The versatility of pJIR418 and its applicability for the cloning of toxin genes fromC. perfringens have been demonstrated by the manipulation of a cloned gene encoding the production of phospholipase C.