The complete nucleotide sequence and organization of the Yersinia enterocolitica strain A127/90 serotype O:8 biotype 1B virulence plasmid (pYVa127/90) were determined. In contrast to other biotype 1B strains, usually isolated in the USA, strain A127/90 was isolated in Japan. The organization of the genes carried by the 66591-bp pYVa127/90 plasmid is globally similar to that of 67720-bp pYVe8081, the virulence plasmid from 8081, an American isolate of serotype O:8 biotype 1B. Differences are noticeable in the amino acid sequences of the SycH chaperone, the YopM cytotoxin and the plague-protective antigen LcrV. Interestingly, pYVa127/90 contains the entire coding sequence of the YlpA lipoprotein, which is missing from pYVe8081. In addition, we identified five potential new genes. Several vestigial insertion sequence elements appeared to be different between the two plasmids. These observations suggest that both pYV plasmids are from a common ancestor but may have evolved independently following the conquest of two distant ecological niches.