RecA protein in gram-negative bacteria, especially in Escherichia coli, has been extensively studied, but little is known about this key enzyme in other procaryotes. Described here are degenerate oligonucleotide primers that have been used to amplify by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) recA sequences from several gram-positive bacteria and mycoplasmas. The DNA sequences of recA PCR products from Streptococcus pyogenes, Streptococcus mutans, Enterococcus faecalis, and Mycoplasma pulmonis were determined and compared. These data indicate that the M. pulmonis recA gene has diverged significantly from recA genes of other eubacteria. It should be possible to use cloned recA PCR products to construct recA mutants, thereby providing the means of elucidating homologous genetic recombination and DNA repair activities in these organisms.