The gene for beta-amylase was isolated from Bacillus polymyxa by molecular cloning in B. subtilis. B. subtilis cells containing this gene express and secrete an amylase which resembles the B. polymyxa beta-amylase and barley beta-amylase in terms of the products it generates during carbohydrate hydrolysis. Starch hydrolysis with this beta-amylase produces maltose, not glucose, whereas maltotriose and cycloheptaose are resistant to the action of this beta-amylase. The enzyme has a molecular weight of approximately 68,000. Restriction endonuclease mapping demonstrated that the DNA inserted in pBD64 and containing the gene is approximately 3 kilobases in length.