A new R plasmid, pSA55, with a molecular weight of 112 megadaltons (Md), was isolated from a strain of Vibrio parahaemolyticus with multiple drug resistance. The pSA55 plasmid conferred on its host resistance to chloramphenicol, tetracycline, streptomycin, kanamycin, ampicillin, trimethoprim and 2,4-diamino-6,7-diisopropyl pteridine, and belongs to incompatibility group C. The plasmid was transferable to Escherichia coli, V. parahaemolyticus, V. alginolyticus and NAG bivrio at a frequency of 10(-3) approximately -7, and was stably inherited by the transconjugants of these species. The conjugal transfer of pSA55 plasmid was significantly affected by the growth culture phase. The resistance pattern and resistance levels of transconjugants were the same as those of the donor strain. We did not observe fluctuations in minimal inhibitory concentrations with transfer, unlike the case of V. cholerae. The relationship between the pSA55 plasmid and the Kanagawa phenomenon was not clarified in the present study.