The Streptomyces griseus subsp. griseus KCTC 9080 genome contains six rRNA-encoding gene (rDNA) clusters. One rDNA cluster (rrnE), contained in an 8.7-kb BamHI fragment, was cloned and sequenced. The rDNA were arranged in the order 16S-23S-5S, and separated by small intergenic spacers. No tRNA-encoding sequences were found in the spacer regions. The lengths of the mature 16S, 23S and 5S rRNAs were 1528, 3120 and 120 nucleotides (nt), respectively. The G + C content of the gene cluster was lower than that of the chromosomal DNA. In general, the primary and secondary structures of the three rRNAs showed good agreement with those from other Streptomyces species. However, in comparison with Escherichia coli, two noticeable changes (mismatches and deletions) and two large insertions were identified in the 16S and 23S rRNAs, respectively. On the other hand, regions showing considerable heterogeneity, even within the genus Streptomyces, were found in both rRNAs. Putative primers and processing signals showing high sequence similarity to those from other Streptomyces species were located in the region upstream from the 5' end of the mature 16S rRNA. A potential hairpin loop structure reminiscent of a Rho-independent terminator was located just downstream from the 5S rRNA. A considerable degree of sequence conservation and variation within rDNA gene clusters was revealed in this study, both at the infra- and suprageneric levels.