Clostridium perfringens is the causative agent of a number of human diseases, such as gas gangrene and food poisoning, and many diseases of animals. Recently significant advances have been made in the development of C. perfringens genetics. Studies on bacteriocin plasmids and conjugative R plasmids have led to the cloning and analysis of many C. perfringens genes and the construction of shuttle plasmids. The relationship of antibiotic resistance genes to similar genes from other bacteria has been elucidated. A detailed physical map of the C. perfringens chromosome has been prepared, and numerous genes have been located on that map. Reproducible transformation methods for the introduction of plasmids into C. perfringens have been developed, and several genes coding for the production of extracellular toxins and enzymes have been cloned. Now that it is possible to freely move genetic information back and forth between C. perfringens and Escherichia coli, it will be possible to apply modern molecular methods to studies on the pathogenesis of C. perfringens infections.