Hybrid plasmids containing the araBAD operon of Salmonella typhimurium LT2 were characterized by Southern blot and genetic analyses. The nucleotide sequence of araB was determined. The araB gene product, ribulokinase (EC 188.8.131.52), was purified and the results of amino acid composition analysis and partial amino acid sequence are in agreement with predictions from the DNA sequence. Ribulokinase is 569 amino acid residues long and has a calculated Mr of 61 793. Ribulokinase shares significant homology with xylulose kinase from Escherichia coli. Codon usage in the araB gene does not favor those codons which have intermediate codon-anticodon binding energy.