The Xer site-specific recombination system of Escherichia coli resolves both chromosome dimers and multimers of certain plasmids including those of ColE1. In this manner, Xer site-specific recombination contributes to the accurate distribution of circular chromosomes at cell division. Two related site-specific recombinases, XerC and XerD, are required for this process. The xerC and xerD genes of Salmonella typhimurium LT2 were isolated from libraries of LT2 genomic DNA by genetic complementation of E. coli Xer mutants. The putative proteins specified by the S. typhimurium genes can substitute for and are highly homologous to the corresponding proteins in E. coli. The distribution of amino acid dissimilarities differs, however, between pairs of cognate Xer proteins. The immediate genetic contexts of equivalent xer genes, i.e., in operons with genes of apparently unrelated function, are conserved between the two bacteria. This is the first description of the identification of a pair of functional homologues of the xerC and xerD genes of E. coli.