Plasmids are and will remain important cloning vehicles for biotechnology. They have also been associated with the spread of a number of diseases and therefore are a subject of environmental concern. With the advent of sequencing technologies, the database of plasmids is increasing. It will be of immense importance to identify the various bacterial hosts in which the plasmid can replicate. The present review article describes the features that confer broad host range to the plasmids, the molecular basis of plasmid host range evolution, and applications in recombinant DNA technology and environment.