A DNA sequence coding for the immunogenic capsid protein VP3 of foot-and-mouth disease virus A12, prepared from the virion RNA, was ligated to a plasmid designed to express a chimeric protein from the Escherichia coli tryptophan promoter-operator system. When Escherichia coli transformed with this plasmid was grown in tryptophan-depleted media, approximately 17 percent of the total cellular protein was found to be an insoluble and stable chimeric protein. The purified chimeric protein competed equally on a molar basis with VP3 for specific antibodies to foot-and-mouth disease virus. When inoculated into six cattle and two swine, this protein elicited high levels of neutralizing antibody and protection against challenge with foot-and-mouth disease virus.