Mutants with outer dynein arm defects or deficiencies all show a major reduction in beat frequency to about half the normal value; some of these mutants show an additional decrease in sliding velocity associated with reduced shear amplitude and an additional reduction in beat frequency, as well as other more minor modifications of the normal forward mode bending pattern. New mutants (ida98, pf30), which appear to be deficient in a subset of inner dynein arms show a reduction in sliding velocity that is primarily associated with a reduction in shear amplitude, with only a small reduction in beat frequency. These differences in motility phenotype between inner and outer dynein arm mutants suggest that inner and outer dynein arms may have distinct functions. The relatively large decrease in sliding velocity associated with partial loss of inner arms is consistent with earlier observations on pf23, a nonmotile mutant lacking inner arms, suggesting that inner arms may have an essential function in motility. The ability to generate reverse mode bending patterns is retained in some inner or outer dynein arm mutants, but appears to be decreased in those mutants which show reduced shear amplitude for the forward mode bending pattern.