Evidence is presented to show that the Sh locus specifies sucrose synthetase in the developing endosperm of maize. The sh/sh/sh endosperm possesses less than 10% sucrose synthetase activity as compared to the normal Sh/sh/sh endosperm. The residual enzyme activity in five independently derived mutant genotypes is attributable to a protein molecule of different electrophoretic and immunochemical specificities that is presumably independent of the sh locus. Sucrose synthetase activity in the embryo in both the genotypes is electrophoretically indistinguishable from the one present in the mutant endosperm. Mutant endosperm has a reduced starch content as compared to the normal. This observation constitutes genetic evidence supporting a critical role for sucrose synthetase in starch biosynthesis.