Chloroplasts of Nicotiana tabacum SR1 were transferred into Nicotiana plumbaginifolia by protoplast fusion. The protoplasts of the organelle donor were irradiated with different lethal doses using a 60Co source, to facilitate the elimination of their nuclei from the fusion products. After fusion induction, clones derived from fusion products and containing streptomycin-resistant N. tabacum SR1 chloroplasts were selected by their ability to green on a selective medium. When N. tabacum protoplasts were inactivated by iodoacetate instead of irradiation, the proportion of N. plumbaginifolia nuclear segregant clones was low (1–2%). Irradiation markedly increased this value: Using 50, 120, 210 and 300 J kg-1 doses, the frequency of segregant clones was 44, 57, 84 and 70 percent, respectively. Regeneration of resistant N. plumbaginifolia plants with SR1 chloroplasts indicated that plastids can be rescued from the irradiated cells by fusion with untreated protoplasts. Resistant N. plumbaginifolia plants that were regenerated (43 clones studied) had diploid (2n = 2X = 20) or tetraploid chromosome numbers and were identical morphologically to parental plants. The absence of aneuploids suggests that in these clones irradiation resulted in complete elimination of the irradiated N. tabacum nuclei. Resistance is inherited maternally (five clones tested). The demonstration of chloroplast transfer and the presence of N. tabacum plastids in the N. plumbaginifolia plants was confirmed by chloroplast DNA fragmentation patterns after EcoRI digestion.