The conjugative plasmid pIJ101 and its conjugative nondeletion derivatives pIJ303 and pIJ211 were tested for their transferability between strains of Streptomyces on laboratory media and in the soil environment. Their roles in the mobilization of the cloning vector plasmid pIJ702, a nonconjugative deletion derivative of pIJ101, were also examined. Biparental and triparental crosses were performed on agar slants and in sterile soil between the plasmid donor Streptomyces lividans and several recipient Streptomyces strains previously isolated from soil. Conjugative plasmids were transferred to seven recipients in slant crosses and to three recipients in soil. Plasmids isolated from recipients showed restriction fragment patterns identical to that of the original plasmid in S. lividans. Plasmid pIJ303 was transferred less frequently in soil than on slants, and the frequency of transfer was higher at 30 C than at the other temperatures examined. Transconjugant Streptomyces strains differed in their ability to maintain pIJ303. The nonconjugative plasmid pIJ702 was mobilized on agar slants into S. coelicolor 2708, which already contains a self-transmissible plasmid. Plasmid pIJ702 was also mobilized into S. flavovirens, Streptomyces sp. strain 87A, and S. parvulus on slants and in sterile soil after triparental crosses with two donors, one containing pIJ702 and the other containing either pIJ101 or pIJ211.