A gene from Magnaporthe grisea was cloned using a cDNA clone of the Colletotrichum gloeosporioides cutinase gene as a heterologous probe; the nucleotide sequence of a 2 kb DNA segment containing the gene has been determined. DNA hybridization analysis shows that the M. grisea genome contains only one copy of this gene. The predicted polypeptide contains 228 amino acids and is homologous to the three previously characterized cutinases, showing 74% amino acid similarity to the cutinase of C. gloeosporioides. Comparison with previously determined cutinase sequences suggests that the gene contains two introns, 115 and 147 bp in length. The gene is expressed when cutin is the sole carbon source but not when the carbon source is cutin and glucose together or glucose alone. Levels of intracellular and extracellular cutinase activity increase in response to growth in the presence of cutin. The activity level is higher in a transformant containing multiple copies of the cloned gene than in the parent strain. Non-denaturing polyacrylamide gels stained for esterase activity show a single major band among intracellular and extracellular proteins from cutin-grown cultures that is not present among intracellular and extracellular proteins prepared from glucose-grown or carbon-starved cultures. This band stains more intensely in extracts from the multicopy transformant than in extracts from the parent strain. We conclude that the cloned DNA contains a M. grisea gene for cutinase, which we have named CUT1.