The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has two genes for alpha-tubulin, TUB1 and TUB3, and one beta-tubulin gene, TUB2. The gene product of TUB3, Tub3, represents approximately 10% of alpha-tubulin in the cell. We determined the effects of the two alpha-tubulin isotypes on microtubule dynamics in vitro. Tubulin was purified from wild-type and deletion strains lacking either Tub1 or Tub3, and parameters of microtubule dynamics were examined. Microtubules containing Tub3 as the only alpha-tubulin isotype were less dynamic than wild-type microtubules, as shown by a shrinkage rate and catastrophe frequency that were about one-third of that for wild-type microtubules. Conversely, microtubules containing Tub1 as the only alpha-tubulin isotype were more dynamic than wild-type microtubules, as shown by a shrinkage rate that was 50% higher and a catastrophe frequency that was 30% higher than those of wild-type microtubules. The results suggest that a role of Tub3 in budding yeast is to control microtubule dynamics.