Three strains of Escherichia coli possessing the multiple drug resistance were found to be resistant also to HgCl/sub 2/, though they were sensitive to other heavy metal ions such as nickel, cobalt, cadmium and zinc ions. Like the resistance to drugs such as chloramphenicol and tetracycline, the HgCl/sub 2/ resistance could be transferred from a resistant strain of E. coli to sensitive strains of E. coli and Aerobacter aerogenes. The resistant strains could grow in the presence of 0.02 mM HgCl/sub 2/, whereas a sensitive strain failed to grow in the presence of 0.01 mM HgCl/sub 2/. During cultivation in the presence of HgCl/sub 2/, the cells of resistant strain vaporized a form of radioactive mercury when incubated with /sup 203/HgCl/sub 2/, glucose and NaCl in phosphate buffer while the cells of sensitive strain showed no such activity. This phenomenon seemed to explain the HgCl/sub 2/ resistance of the resistant strains.