Preservation of the acidophilic heterotroph, Acidocella sp. strain GS19h, at 4 degrees C in stab culture eliminated all indigenous plasmids from this bacterium. Growth at 42 degrees C initially caused changes in the plasmid profile followed by total elimination of plasmids after 10 cycles of growth. Concomitant to this loss of all plasmids, the cured derivatives became sensitive to CdSO(4) and ZnSO(4), and the MIC value of the salts dropped from 1 M for each in the case of parental strain to 2 mM and 5 mM, respectively, suggesting plasmid-mediated inheritance of metal resistance in this bacterium. The cured derivatives could not utilise lactose, indicating this metabolic activity to be plasmid-associated in this strain.