We have characterized the yyaA gene of Bacillus subtilis, located near the origin of chromosome replication (oriC). Its protein product is similar to the Spo0J protein, which belongs to the ParB family of chromosome- and plasmid-partitioning proteins. Insertional inactivation of the yyaA gene had no apparent effect on chromosome organization and partitioning during vegetative growth or sporulation. Subcellular localization of YyaA by immunofluorescence microscopy indicated that it colocalizes with the nucleoid, and gel retardation studies confirmed that YyaA binds relatively nonspecifically to DNA. Overexpression of yyaA caused a sporulation defect characterized by the formation of multiple septa within the cell. This phenotype indicates that YyaA may have a regulatory role at the onset of sporulation.