All 10 rRNA operons have been situated on the genome map of the anaerobic pathogen Clostridium perfringens. Four of these have been cloned and partially sequenced, and their transcriptional patterns in vivo and in vitro have been examined. Expression of rrnA, rrnB, and rrnE is directed by tandem promoters, P1 and P2, whereas rrnH is the only one to be expressed from a single promoter, which resembles P1. On inspection of the nucleotide sequences of the control regions, several sites which might be involved in the regulation of rrn expression were identified. These include a possible upstream activating region which could be recognized by the C. perfringens equivalent of the Escherichia coli Fis protein and a stringent response target site. Studies of maturation of 16S RNA identified two 5' cleavage sites and sequence analysis showed the dG+dC content of its gene, rrs, to be 52%, which is twice that of the genome.