The 22 S ribonucleoproten particles containing the 5' (body) and the central (platform) domains of the Thermus thermophilus 30 S subunit has been studied by sedimentation, neutron scattering and electron microscopy. The RNP particles have been obtained by oligonucleotide-directed cleavage of 16 S RNA with ribonulease H in the region of the 900th nucleotide of the protein-deficient derivatives of the 30 S subunits. It is shown that these RNP particles are very compact, though their form and dimensions differ slightly from those expected from the electron microscopy model of the 30 S subunit beheaded by computer simulation. The particles are subdivided into two structural domains whose mutual arrangement differs from that of the corresponding morphological parts of the native 30 S subunit. Electron microscopy demonstrates that the mutual arrangement of domains in the RNP particles is not strictly fixed suggesting that interaction with the third domain of the 30 S subunit is a requisite for their correct fitting.