Simple methods, based on the technique of flow cytometry, have been developed for the phenotypic characterization of yeast autolytic mutants and for the analysis of the formation and regeneration of the yeast protoplasts. The expression of lytic mutations determined uptake of the fluorescent dye propidium iodide, which could be carefully monitored by flow cytometry. Mixed populations of lysed and viable cells were precisely quantified and sorted, and the technique was also applied to demonstrate protection from lysis of mutant cells with cell wall defects, in the presence of osmotic stabilizers. Protoplast formation and regeneration was monitored by analysing relative cell size; this was facilitated by the preparation of homogeneous protoplast preparations. The technique of flow cytometry proved superior to other conventional methods for these types of study.