A new gene encoding a novel GATA factor, ASD4, of Neurospora crassa was isolated and demonstrated to possess one intron and to specify an open reading frame encoding a protein with 427 amino acid residues. The ASD4 protein contains a single GATA-type zinc finger and a putative coiled-coil domain. Unlike related proteins, DAL80 in yeast and NREB in Penicillium, ASD4 does not appear to be involved in regulation of nitrogen metabolism. An Asd-4 null mutant obtained by the rip procedure did not show any effect upon nitrogen control, but instead resulted in severe defects in ascus and ascospore genesis. The Asd-4 rip mutant is dominant to Asd-4+. A cross of the Asd-4 mutant with wild-type resulted in fruiting bodies that appeared to be normal macroscopically but which were complete devoid of asci and ascospores. Introduction of the Asd-4+ gene into the Asd-4 rip mutant corrected the defect in ascus and ascospore development in crosses with wild-type. Mobility shift assays demonstrated that ASD4 acts as a sequence-specific DNA binding protein and recognizes DNA fragments that contain GATA core elements. Gel filtration and cross-linking experiments revealed that the ASD4 protein exists as a tetramer in solution. These results suggest that the ASD4 protein functions positively as a transcriptional regulator of sexual development in Neurospora.