The nucleotide sequence of the 1.30-kilobase EcoRI/BglII fragment from Vibrio harveyi carrying the majority of the luciferase beta subunit coding region (luxB gene) has been determined. The EcoRI/BglII fragment was derived from a 4.0-kilobase HindIII fragment carrying both luxA and luxB which was detected in a genomic clone bank based on the expression of bioluminescence from colonies of Escherichia coli carrying V. harveyi HindIII fragments in plasmid pBR322 (Baldwin, T. O., Berends, T., Bunch, T. A., Holzman, T. F., Rausch, S. K., Shamansky, L., Treat, M. L., and Ziegler, M. M. (1984) Biochemistry 23, 3663-3667). The entire alpha subunit coding sequence (luxA gene) and the amino-terminal 13 codons of the beta subunit sequence (luxB gene) were contained on a 1.85-kilobase EcoRI fragment, the sequence of which has been reported (Cohn, D. H., Mileham, A. J., Simon, M. I., Nealson, K. H., Rausch, S. K., Bonam, D., and Baldwin, T. O. (1985) J. Biol. Chem. 260, 6139-6146). The beta subunit coding sequence was found to terminate 972 bases past the start of the luxB coding sequence. The beta subunit had a calculated molecular weight of 36,349 and comprised a total of 324 amino acid residues; the alpha beta dimer had a molecular weight (alpha + beta) of 76,457. There were 27 base pairs separating the stop codon of the beta subunit structural gene and a 340-base open reading frame extending to (and beyond) the distal BglII site. Approximately two-thirds of the beta subunit was sequenced by protein chemical techniques. The amino acid sequence predicted from the DNA sequence, with few exceptions, confirmed the chemically determined sequence, and the measured amino acid composition was in excellent agreement with the composition implied from the DNA sequence.