Pathogenic Yersinia strains possess a 70 kb virulence plasmid which can be transmitted to other strains by conjugation systems expressed by co-resident plasmids. We isolated a 720 bp fragment of the Yersinia pseudotuberculosis virulence plasmid p1340 that mediated mobilization of the vector pIV2 by the self-transmissible plasmid pYE854. The p1340 mobilization region contains the resolvase gene tnpR and its proposed resolution site res. Both elements are required for mobilization. Plasmid transfer was associated with the formation of co-integrates in which res was fused to pYE854 fragments by short nucleotide stretches similarly present within res. blast searches and PCR experiments revealed the presence of the mobilization region in the virulence plasmids of other Y. pseudotuberculosis and Y. pestis strains but not in pYV of Yersinia enterocolitica.