The complete nucleotide sequence of the genome of a symbiotic bacterium Mesorhizobium loti strain MAFF303099 was determined. The genome of M. loti consisted of a single chromosome (7, 036, 071 bp) and two plasmids, designated as pMLa (351, 911 bp) and pMLb (208, 315 bp). The chromosome comprises 6752 potential protein-coding genes, two sets of rRNA genes and 50 tRNA genes representing 47 tRNA species. Fifty-four percent of the potential protein genes showed sequence similarity to genes of known function, 21% to hypothetical genes, and the remaining 25% hadno apparent similarity to reported genes. A 611-kb DNA segment, a highly probable candidate of a symbiotic island, was identified, and 30 genes for nitrogen fixation and 24 genes for nodulation were assigned in this region. Codon usage analysis suggested that the symbiotic islandas well as the plasmids originated andw ere transmittedfrom other genetic systems. The genomes of two plasmids, pMLa and pMLb, contained 320 and 209 potential protein-coding genes, respectively, for a variety of biological functions. These include genes for the ABC-transporter system, phosphate assimilation, two-component system, DNA replication and conjugation, but only one gene for nodulation was identified.