Three DNA restriction fragments of established sequence containing the Escherichia coli lac genetic controlling regions were cloned. In each case a recombinant plasmid was constructed which was suitable for the subsequent large scale purification of the lac fragment. A 789-base pair HindII fragment, containing the lac operator, promoter, and cyclic AMP receptor protein binding site, was ligated into the single HindII site of the amplifiable plasmid minicolicin E1 DNA (pVH51). A 203-base pair Hae III fragment containing the same genetic sites was ligated into the single Eco RI site of pVH51 which had been "filled in" by the Micrococcus luteus DNA polymerase. Thus, the lac fragment was inserted between two Eco RI sites. Plasmids containing multiple copies of this Eco RI fragment were then constructed. A 95-base pair Alu I fragment containing the lac promoter and operator was cloned similarly. Also, the 203-base pair fragment was cloned into the Eco RI site of pVH51 using a 300-base pair linker fragment (isolated by RPC-5 column chromatography) which permitted retention of its Hae III ends. Mapping studies on pVH51 DNA with a number of DNA restriction endonucleases, including Alu I, Taq I, and Hpa II, are described.