The four-plasmid complement of the raw milk cheese isolate Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis biovar diacetylactis DPC3901 was sequenced, and some genetic features were functionally analyzed. The complete sequences of pVF18 (18,977 bp), pVF21 (21,739 bp), pVF22 (22,166 bp), and pVF50 (53,876 bp) were obtained. Each plasmid contained genes not previously described for Lactococcus, in addition to genes associated with plant-derived lactococcal strains. Most of the novel genes were found on pVF18 and encoded functions typical of bacteria associated with plants, such as activities of plant cell wall modification (orf11 and orf25). In addition, a predicted high-affinity regulated system for the uptake of cobalt was identified (orf19 to orf21 [orf19-21]), which has a single database homolog on a plant-derived Leuconostoc plasmid and whose functionality was demonstrated following curing of pVF18. pVF21 and pVF22 encode additional metal transporters, which, along with orf19-21 of pVF18, could enhance host ability to uptake growth-limiting amounts of biologically essential ions within the soil. In addition, vast regions from pVF50 and pVF21 share significant homology with the plant-derived lactococcal plasmid pGdh442, which is indicative of extensive horizontal gene transfer and recombination between these plasmids and suggests a common plant niche for their hosts. Phenotypes associated with these regions include glutamate dehydrogenase activity and Na+ and K+ transport. The presence of numerous plant-associated markers in L. lactis DPC3901 suggests a plant origin for the raw milk cheese isolate and provides for the first time the genetic basis to support the concept of the plant-milk transition for Lactococcus strains.