Genomic clones containing the entire crnA-niiA-niaD gene cluster of Aspergillus nidulans have been isolated, and the structures of the niiA and niaD genes have been determined by nucleotide sequence analysis. This gene cluster is required for the assimilation of nitrate in A. nidulans, and the three genes encode a product required for nitrate uptake and the enzymes, nitrite reductase and nitrate reductase, respectively. The putative coding sequences, as deduced by comparison to cDNA clones of both niiA and niaD, are interrupted by multiple small introns, and the two genes are divergently transcribed. Identification and characterization of specific mRNAs involved in nitrate assimilation indicates that only monocistronic transcripts are involved, and that the approximate sizes of these transcripts are 1.6 kb, 3.4 kb and 2.8 kb for crnA, niiA and niaD, respectively. The results also indicate that control of niiA and niaD gene expression is mediated by the levels of mRNA accumulation, in response to the source of nitrogen in the growth medium. Two types of transcripts for niiA were observed.