Complementation studies and allele replacement in Saccharomyces cerevisiae revealed that PSA1/VIG9, an essential gene that encodes GDP-mannose pyrophosphorylase, is the wild-type SRB1 gene. Cloning and sequencing of the srb1-1 allele showed that it determines a single amino acid change from glycine to aspartic acid at residue 276 (srb1(D276)). Genetic evidence is presented showing that at least one further mutation is required for the sorbitol dependence of srb1(D276). A previously reported complementing gene, which this study has now identified as PDE2, is a multi-copy suppressor of sorbitol dependence and is not, as was previously suggested, the SRB1 gene. srb and pde2 mutants share a number of phenotypes, including lysis upon hypotonic shock and enhanced transformability. These data are consistent with the idea that the Ras/cAMP pathway might modulate cell-wall construction.