Yeast cells choose bud sites on their surface in two distinct spatial patterns: axial for a and alpha cells and bipolar for a/alpha cells. We have identified four genes, BUD1-BUD4, necessary for the axial pattern by isolating mutants of alpha cells that do not exhibit this pattern. Mutations in BUD1 (which is the same as the previously identified gene RSR1) or BUD2 lead to a random budding pattern in all cell types; mutations in BUD3 or BUD4 lead to a bipolar pattern in all cell types. These observations indicate the existence of a basal budding pattern, requiring no BUD products, that is random; BUD1 and BUD2 act on this basal pattern to create the bipolar pattern; the further action of BUD3 and BUD4 leads to the axial pattern. These studies thus identify a set of gene products that directs cell morphogenesis to a genetically programmed site.