A RelC deletion mutant, KO-100, of Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) has been isolated from a collection of spontaneous thiostrepton-resistant mutants. KO-100 grows as vigorously as the parent strain and possesses a 6-bp deletion within the rplK, previously termed relC. When the wild-type rplK gene was propagated on a low-copy-number vector in mutant KO-100, the ability to produce ppGpp, actinorhodin and undecylprodigiosin, which had been lost in the RelC mutant, was completely restored. Allele replacement by gene homogenotization demonstrated that the RelC mutation is responsible for the resistance to thiostrepton and the inactivation of ppGpp, actinorhodin and undecylprodigiosin production. Western blotting showed that ribosomes from the RelC mutant KO-100 contain only one-eighth the amount of L11 protein found in ribosomes of the parent strain. The impairment of antibiotic production in KO-100 could be rescued by the introduction of mutations that confer resistance to streptomycin (str), which result in alteration of Lys-88 in ribosomal protein S12 to Glu or Arg. No accompanying restoration of ppGpp synthesis was detected in these RelC str double mutants.