The 7.1-kb fragment of Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii T24 DNA which confers trifolitoxin production and resistance to nonproducing, sensitive Rhizobium strains (E. W. Triplett, M. J. Schink, and K. L. Noeldner, Mol. Plant-Microbe Interact. 2:202-208, 1989) was subcloned, sequenced, and mutagenized with a transcriptional fusion cassette. The sequence of this fragment revealed seven complete open reading frames, tfxABCDEFG, all transcribed in the same direction. TfxA has an 11-amino-acid carboxy terminus identical to the known amino acid sequence of the trifolitoxin backbone, DIGGSRXGCVA, where X is an UV-absorbing chromophore. This is evidence that trifolitoxin is synthesized ribosomally as a prepeptide that is posttranslationally modified to yield the active peptide. TfxB shows 27.6% identity with McbC, a protein required for the production of the ribosomally synthesized antibiotic microcin B17. Tn3GUS transcriptional fusion insertions in tfxA, tfxB, tfxD, or tfxF caused a nonproducing, trifolitoxin-resistant phenotype and confirmed the direction of transcription of these frames. No insertion mutations were found in tfxE or tfxG. Sequence analysis along with insertion and deletion mutation analysis suggest that (i) trifolitoxin is synthesized ribosomally from tfxA; (ii) tfxA, tfxE, and tfxG have their own promoters; (iii) TfxG is required for immunity; (iv) TfxB, TfxD, and TfxF are required for trifolitoxin production; and (v) the UV-absorbing chromophore is derived from glutamine.