Abstract Antibiotic-resistant strains of Pseudomonas fluorescens and Bacillus subtilis, produced by transposon Tn5 mutagenesis and transformation with plasmid pFT30, respectively, were characterized. Both strains grew at a rate comparable to that of the wild-type strains, and the antibiotic resistance remained stable for over 50 generations without selective pressure. During the growing season, the survival of these strains was studied in two soils of different texture cropped with wheat. The B. subtilis populations declined rapidly in both soils and then stabilized at the levels of added spores. P. fluorescens showed a slow, steady decline in both soils; survival was better in the finer-textured soil, a silt loam, than in the coarser loamy sand. For both bacteria, some translocation to deeper soil layers was observed. No significant rhizosphere effects were detected in either of the two soils.