General transduction by phage phi M12 in Rhizobium meliloti SU47 and its derivatives is described. Cotransduction and selection for Tn5 insertions which are closely linked to specific loci were demonstrated. A derivative of SU47 carrying the recA::Tn5 allele of R. meliloti 102F34 could be transduced for plasmid R68.45 but not for chromosomally located alleles. Phage phi M12 is morphologically similar to Escherichia coli phage T4, and restriction endonuclease analysis indicated that the phage DNA was ca. 160 kilobases in size.