The replication functions of the bacteriocinogenic plasmid pIP404, from Clostridium perfringens, were localized to a 2.8-kb EcoRI-EcoRV fragment by cloning into a vector deficient for replication in Bacillus subtilis. This fragment contains two genes, cop and rep, which encode proteins and an 800-bp noncoding segment of complex structure consisting of multiple tandemly repeated sequences. The Cop protein is involved in copy number control, whereas the rep gene product is essential for plasmid replication. By deletion analysis the minimal origin of replication was defined as the rep gene plus most of the repeated sequences. A powerful promoter producing a 150-nucleotide RNA molecule, RNA1, that could act as an anti-sense RNA to the rep gene was detected in the "origin-like" region. In contrast to most other small plasmids of gram-positive bacteria, pIP404, and its derivatives, does not appear to replicate via a single stranded intermediate in either C. perfringens or B. subtilis.