We investigated the establishment of integrating transformation vectors in the genome of Dictyostelium discoideum to gain insight into the formation of the plasmid insertions and to investigate the conditions that determine the number of plasmid copies present in such insertions. Transformation vectors conferring resistance to neomycin and/or blasticidin were introduced into the cell as a calcium phosphate coprecipitate or by electroporation. The integration of the plasmid DNA was based on either recombinational integration of plasmids or restriction enzyme-mediated integration. The genomic DNA of the resulting transformants was examined by Southern blot analysis of pulsed-field gels and by the recently published method of direct electroporation into Escherichia coli. The number of insertion sites was found to be dependent on the transformation method used, and the minimum number of plasmid copies per insertion site required for resistance depended on the type and the concentration of the selective drug. Cotransformation studies revealed a strictly homogeneous composition of vector multimers from any given insertion site. This suggests that multimers arise by co-insertional replication of a single plasmid monomer, rather than by subsequent additional insertion events involving homologous recombination. The multimerization of the integrated vector only occurred when the insertion was established by homologous recombination. Moreover, the number of plasmid copies appeared to be random, was established at the time of the transformation, and did not change with subsequent alterations to the selection regime.