Rhizobium meliloti strains mutant in the exoR gene overproduce an exopolysaccharide called succinoglycan or EPS I. Protein fusions to several different exo genes required for EPS I biosynthesis are expressed at a higher level in an exoR strain than in a wild-type strain, showing that the overproduction of EPS I in exoR strains results at least in part from increased gene expression. This regulation is important to nodulation, since exoR mutants fail to invade alfalfa nodules unless secondary suppressor mutations that cause a decrease in EPS I production occur. Here, we show that an exoR strain contains higher levels of mRNA for other exo genes than does the wild-type parental strain. ExoR therefore most probably exerts its regulatory effect at the level of transcription. In addition, we have localized, subcloned, and sequenced the exoR gene. A newly constructed insertion allele of exoR has the same phenotype as the original mutant. The deduced sequence of ExoR is 268 amino acids long but does not show homology to other sequenced genes.