The aroB gene of Salmonella typhimurium, encoding dehydroquinate synthase, has been cloned into pUC19 and the DNA sequence determined. The aroB gene was isolated from a cosmid gene bank by complementation of an Escherichia coli aroB mutant and screening by Southern blot analysis. The nucleotide sequence of the S. typhimurium aroB gene revealed the presence of an open reading frame, encoding a protein of 362 amino acids with a calculated molecular mass of 38696 Daltons. The amino acid sequence of S. typhimurium dehydroquinate synthase is nearly identical to the E. coli homologue and shows high homology with other aroB gene products from other organisms. Subsequently, a stable insertional mutation in aroB was introduced into the wildtype S. typhimurium C5 strain. This mutant was auxotrophic for aromatic compounds. Infection of BALB/c mice with this mutant demonstrated attenuation comparable to other S. typhimurium mutants unable to biosynthesize aromatic amino acids. (C) 1997 Academic Press Limited.