Thirty-seven strains of Pseudomonas cepacia from clinical, pharmaceutical-industrial, and environmental origins were analyzed for the presence of plasmid DNA by a modification of the rapid alkaline extraction method of Birnboim (H. C. Birnboim, Methods Enzymol. 100:243-255, 1983). Plasmids were present in 31 strains (84%) from all sources, with no one source showing less than 75% plasmid carriage among its strains. The plasmid profiles indicated that the presence of large plasmids (146 to 222 kb) was the norm. Those strains with greater antibiotic resistance were mainly in the clinical and pharmaceutical groups and carried large plasmids (222 kb) that appeared essentially identical by restriction digest analysis. The ability for conjugative transfer was shown with the broad-host-range plasmid R751 carrying the gene for resistance to trimethoprim, one of the few antimicrobial agents effective against P. cepacia. The plasmid was transferred from Pseudomonas aeruginosa to P. cepacia strains as well as from P. cepacia transconjugants to other P. cepacia strains.