The DNA-membrane complex in Micrococcus radiodurans was shown to be essentially constituted of proteins, lipids and DNA. The complex was dissociated immediately after X-irradiation of cells and restored during post-incubation in complete medium. In X-irradiated protoplasts some DNA remained associated with the complex. Restoration of the complex during post-incubation was only seen in a medium favouring DNA polymerase and ligase activities. Under this condition no DNA synthesis occurred, suggesting that complex restoration may involve ligase activity. The complex restoration in the wild type and the X-ray sensitive mutant UV17 of M. radiodurans was strictly dependent on the X-ray dose. It was correlated with survival and DNA degradation but always preceded the onset of DNA synthesis after X-irradiation. At the same dose the complex restoration was about 2 fold lower in mutant than in wild type cells indicating that the restoration of the complex is related to repair capacity. The results are consistent with the idea that the complex protects X-irradiated DNA of M. radiodurans from further breakdown and, subsequently, permits DNA synthesis and repair to occur.