Induction of the adaptive response by N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG) caused a decrease in the UV-mediated expression of both recA and sfiA genes but not of the umuDC gene. On the other hand, the adaptive response did not affect the temperature-promoted induction of SOS response in a RecA441 mutant. The inhibitory effect on the UV-triggered expression of the recA and sfiA genes was not dependent on either the alkA gene or the basal level of RecA protein, but rather required the ada gene. Furthermore, an increase in the level of the Ada protein, caused by the runaway plasmid pYN3059 in which the ada gene is regulated by the lac promoter, inhibited UV-mediated recA gene expression even in cells to which the MNNG-adaptive treatment had not been applied. This inhibitory effect of the adaptive pretreatment was not observed either in RecBC- strains or in RecBC mutants lacking exonuclease V-related nuclease activity. However, RecF- mutants showed an adaptive response-mediated decrease in UV-promoted induction of the recA gene.