Linear DNA molecules composed of a central region nonhomologous with the Bacillus subtilis chromosome and two flanking regions homologous with the chromosome can integrate into the chromosome, provided that the homologous regions have the same relative orientation. The resulting chromosome can be maintained in a haploid or in a merodiploid cell together with a parental chromosome. This can most easily be explained by supposing that the integration occurs by crossing over at each homologous region and that a part of the chromosome between these regions is deleted and replaced by the central nonhomologous region of the integrating molecule. If no essential genes were replaced during that process a haploid cell would be obtained; if essential genes were replaced a merodiploid cell would be obtained. The use of appropriate linear molecules therefore should allow the induction of deletions, extending from a given chromosomal site in a predetermined direction, and defined duplications in the B. subtilis chromosome.