E. coli aminoacyl tRNA synthetases are typically comprised of a single type of polypeptide chain. Glycine tRNA synthetase is an exception, and is comprised of two different subunits. Previous work showed that glyS encodes both subunits in a tandem arrangement of coding regions which are in the same reading frame. Nine nucleotides separate the TAA stop of the first coding segment (alpha-subunit) from the ATG start of the second one (beta-subunit). A plasmid containing glyS was put into four different ochre suppressor strains. In three of them, significant quantities of an alpha-beta fusion protein were synthesized in maxicells, in genetic backgrounds which retained cellular proteases. This shows that the fusion protein is stable in vivo and suggests that Gly-tRNA synthetase is operationally a single polypeptide which is the ancestor of the two subunits.