Dihydrodipicolinate synthase (DHDPS; EC 188.8.131.52) catalyzes the rate-limiting step in the (S)-lysine biosynthesis pathway of bacteria and plants. Here, the cloning of the DHDPS gene from a clinical isolate of Streptococcus pneumoniae (OXC141 strain) and the strategy used to express, purify and crystallize the recombinant enzyme are described. Diffracting crystals were grown in high-molecular-weight PEG precipitants using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method. The best crystal, from which data were collected, diffracted to beyond 2.0 A resolution. Initially, the crystals were thought to belong to space group P4(2)2(1)2, with unit-cell parameters a = 105.5, b = 105.5, c = 62.4 A. However, the R factors remained high following initial processing of the data. It was subsequently shown that the data set was twinned and it was thus reprocessed in space group P2, resulting in a significant reduction in the R factors. Determination of the structure will provide insight into the design of novel antimicrobial agents targeting this important enzyme from S. pneumoniae.