Abstract Two ssb mutants of Escherichia coli, whic carry a lesion in the single-strand DNA-binding protein (SSB), are sensitive to UV-irradiation. We have investigated the influence of SSB on the “SOS” repair pathway by examining the levels of recA protein synthesis. These strains fail to induced normal levels of recA protein after treatment with nalidixic acid or ultraviolet light. The level of recA protein synthesis in wild-type cells is about three times greater than ssb cells. This deficiency in ssb mutants occurs in all strains and at all temperatures tested (30–41.5°). In contrast, the ssb-1 mutant has no effect on temperature-induced recA induction in a recA441 ( tif-1) strain. Cells carrying ssb + plasmids and overproducing normal DNA-binding protein surprisingly are moderated UV-sensitive and have reduced levels of recA protein synthesis. Together these results establish that single-strand DNA-binding protein is involved in the induction of recA, and accounts, at least in part, for the UV sensivitiy of ssb mutant. Three possible mechanisms to explain the role of SSB are discussed.