The unstable linear chromosome of Streptomyces lividans was circularized by homologous recombination and its terminal inverted repeats deleted. Strains with circularized chromosomes showed no obvious phenotypic disadvantages compared to the wild type. However, they segregated about 20 times more chloramphenicol-sensitive mutants than the wild type (24.3% vs. 1.4%), due to a higher incidence of large deletions. In addition, in all circularized chromosomes amplification of 30–60 kb fragments was observed at the new chromosomal junction, to levels of approximately 10 copies per chromosome. Arginine auxotrophs that arose spontaneously among the progeny of strains with a circularized chromosome showed high-copy-number amplification of the DNA element AUD1, as also seen in mutants of the wild type. These observations demonstrate that the circular form of the Streptomyces chromosome is more unstable than the linear one.