SPR3 is one of at least nine genes which are expressed in sporulating Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells at the time of meiosis I. We show below that strains homozygous for null alleles of SPR3 are capable of normal meiosis and the production of viable ascospores. We have also monitored SPR3 expression in a series of strains that are defective in meiotic development, using an SPR3:lacZ fusion carried on a single copy plasmid. beta-Galactosidase activity occurred at wild-type levels in diploid strains homozygous for mutations in spo13, rad50, rad57 and cdc9, but was greatly reduced in strains carrying cdc8 or spo7 defects. We conclude that SPR3 expression is a valid monitor of early meiotic development, even though the gene is inessential for the sporulation process.