To clone, express and characterize uroporphyrinogen III synthase/methyltransferase gene (cobA/hemD) from Lactobacillus reuteri. Some strains of Lb. reuteri produce cobalamin (vitamin B12). Cobalamin biosynthesis relies on the sequential action of more than 25 enzymes in a complex metabolic pathway. We have cloned, expressed and characterized the gene in Lb. reuteri that codes for the S-adenosy l-methionine uroprophyrinogen III methyltransferase/synthase (CobA/HemD), a key bifunctional enzyme in the biosynthesis of cobalamin and other tetrapyrrols.