Bacillus subtilis genes purA, encoding adenylosuccinate synthetase, and guaA, coding for GMP synthetase, appear to be lethal when cloned in multicopy plasmids in Escherichia coli. The nucleotide sequences of purA and guaA were determined from a series of gene fragments isolated by polymerase chain reaction amplification, library screening, and plasmid rescue techniques. Identifications were based on amino acid sequence alignments with enzymes from other organisms. Comparison of the 5'-flanking regions of purA and guaA with the pur operon suggests similarities in mechanisms for gene regulation. Nucleotide sequences are now available for all genes involved in the 14-step pathway for de novo purine nucleotide synthesis in B. subtilis.