Gram negative bacteria classified as Alcaligenes eutrophus and carrying large resistance plasmids (generally two) were found in various industrial sites highly contaminated by heavy metals (Zn++, Cu++, Co++,...). These strains were detected by DNA hybridization with a probe made with a 9kb fragment (ccz+ fragment) encoding for resistances to Cd++, Co++ and Zn++, and cloned from plasmid pMOL30. This plasmid was isolated from the representative strain A. eutrophus CH34 which harbours the plasmids pMOL30 (240 kb) and pMOL28 (165 kb). Phenotypes related to pMOL28 and pMOL30 include the tolerance to Cd++, Co++, Cr04 =, Cu++, Hg++, Ni++, Pb++ and Zn++. The described genetic properties of these plasmids refer to some cloned or mapped functions and to some plasmid rearrangements. Plasmid pMOL85 (250 kb) which is related to pMOL30 was also described. Its host (A. eutrophus DS185) was isolated from a zinc desert. pMOL85 can efficiently self transfer in plasmidfree derivatives.