The nucleotide sequence of the Pseudomonas sp. strain M114 pbuA gene, encoding the outer membrane receptor for ferric pseudobactin M114, has been determined. The region sequenced spans 2788 bases of plasmid pCUP3, within which the receptor gene had previously been localised. A single open reading frame, potentially encoding 826 amino acids and including a leader peptide of 44 amino acids, is evident and is followed by an inverted repeat segment, which may act as a transcriptional terminator. A 20 bp region of DNA, having significant homology with the E. coli Fur-binding consensus sequence, is located upstream of the open reading frame. PbuA displays characteristics in common with other outer membrane proteins and displays strong homology with the TonB boxes of both E. coli and Pseudomonas receptors. More extensive homologies were found with the PupA receptor of P. putida WCS358 and the FhuE and BtuB receptors of E. coli. It is suggested that areas exhibiting the least homology between these receptors may represent ferric siderophore-specific recognition sites of the PbuA protein. The deduced amino acid sequence of pbuA was compared with that of pupX, encoding the outer membrane receptor for ferric pseudobactin B10, of Pseudomonas sp. strain B 10. A direct alignment of the two proteins gave an identity score of 92.5%. The distribution of PbuA-like receptors among Pseudomonas isolates was investigated by DNA-DNA hybridisation analysis. The results suggest that a PbuA-like receptor may be widely distributed among Pseudomonas rhizosphere isolates.