Streptococcus lactis plasmid DNA, which is required for the fermentation of lactose (plasmid pLM2001), and a potential streptococcal cloning vector plasmid (pDB101) which confers resistance to erythromycin were evaluated by transformation into Streptococcus sanguis Challis. Plasmid pLM2001 transformed lactose-negative (Lac-) mutants of S. sanguis with high efficiency and was capable of conferring lactose-metabolizing ability to a mutant deficient in Enzyme IIlac, Factor IIIlac, and phospho-beta-galactosidase of the lactose phosphoenolpyruvate-phosphotransferase system. Plasmid pDB101 was capable of high-efficiency transformation of S. sanguis to antibiotic resistance, and the plasmid could be readily isolated from transformed strains. However, when 20 pLM2001 Lac+ transformants were analyzed by a variety of techniques for the presence of plasmids, none could be detected. In addition, attempts to cure the Lac+ transformants by treatment with acriflavin were unsuccessful. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis was used to demonstrate that the transformants had acquired a phospho-beta-galactosidase characteristic of that normally produced by S. lactis and not S. sanguis. It is proposed that the genes required for lactose fermentation may have become stabilized in the transformants due to their integration into the host chromosome. The efficient transformation into and expression of pLM2001 and pDB101 genes in S. sanguis provides a model system which could allow the development of a system for cloning genes from dairy starter cultures into S. sanguis to examine factors affecting their expression and regulation.