Certain gonococci, which heretofore have lacked a conjugal mating system, can sexually transfer a small plasmid (4.5 x 10)6) daltons) which carries the gene for beta-lactamase production. Frequencies of conjugal transfer were similar into diverse recipients (other gonococci, Neisseria flava, and Escherichia coli), which suggests that gonococci may transfer the plasmid promiscuously in nature.