A segment of Bacillus subtilis deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) previously cloned in Escherichia coli contains a gene (the 0.4-kilobase [kb] gene) whose transcription is activated at an early stage of spore development. To map the genetic location of the 0.4-kb gene, we constructed a hybrid plasmid that inserts a chloramphenicol resistance determinant into the B. subtilis chromosome by recombination at a site of homology between cloned B. subtilis DNA and the chromosome. This hybrid plasmid (p1949-2) was constructed from the E. coli plasmid pMB9, the B. sultilis chloramphenicol resistance plasmid pCM194 (whose replication function was inactivated), and B. subtilis DNA from the vicinity of the 0.4-kb gene. Transformation of B. subtilis cells to drug resistance by p1949-2 was dependent upon the B. subtilis RecE+ phenotype and resulted in specific and predictable changes in the pattern of endonuclease restriction sites in the 0.4-kb gene region of the chromosome. Chloramphenicol resistance in cells transformed by p1949-2 was mapped to the purA-cysA region of the B. subtilis chromosome, a region. In addition, DNA adjacent to the 0.4-kb gene was shown to contain the wild-type allele of genetic marker (tms-26) from that region.