Insertion of the maize transposable element Mu-1 into the first intron of the alcohol dehydrogenase locus (Adh1) of maize produced mutant Adh1-S3034 with 40% of the wild-type level of protein and mRNA. Continued instability at this locus resulted in secondary mutations with lower levels of protein expression. One of these, Adh1-S3034a, has no detectable ADH1 expression. This paper describes the precise nature of the changes in the Adh1 gene that gave rise to the S3034a allele. The Mu-1 element is still present in the mutant, but Adh1 sequences immediately adjacent to the element are deleted. The deletion starts precisely at the Mu-1 insertion site and extends 74 bp leftward removing part of the first intron, the intron:exon junction and 2 bp of the eleventh amino acid codon in the first exon of the gene. Tests for reversion within the somatic tissue of plants show that mutant S3034a, unlike its progenitor, is stably null for ADH1 activity.