Mycoplasma pneumoniae, a bacterium pathogenic for humans, has a relatively small genome size of 840 kbp. Even though, several repeated DNA elements have been identified in the genome of this prokaryote, particularly within the P1 gene which codes for a major adhesin protein of M. pneumoniae. These elements were characterized in detail with respect to size, number and distribution on the genome, represented by an ordered cloned library covering the complete chromosome. Three different repetitive elements were detected in and around the P1 gene designated as RepMP2/3, RepMP4 and RepMP5. The length of these elements varies between 1.1-1.5 kbp (RepMP4), 1.8 kbp (RepMP2/3) and 1.9-2.2 kpb (RepMP5). They occur at least 8 to 10 times on the chromosome. Possible functions are discussed and a uniform nomenclature for these repeats is proposed.