The nourseothricin producer Streptomyces noursei is resistant to its own antibiotic in submerged as well as in surface culture. The strain shows no cross-resistance to miscoding inducing aminoglycoside antibiotics. Cell free extracts of Streptomyces noursei inactivate nourseothricin by enzymatic acetylation. The pattern of cross-resistance of Streptomyces noursei correlates well with the substrate specificity of the nourseothricin acetyltransferase. Furthermore, the acetyltransferase activity parallels the resistance level in nourseothricin-producing strains and nonproducing mutants. The results suggest that the nourseothricin acetyltransferase is important in the self-defence strategy of the nourseothricin-producing strain.