We have determined the structure and complete nucleotide sequence of the trifunctional trpC gene from the Ascomycetous fungus Aspergillus nidulans. Results from RNA gel blot analyses showed that this gene encodes two size classes of polyribosomal, poly (A)+RNAs with approximate lengths of 2,400 and 2,600 nucleotides. S1 nuclease protection studies demonstrated that the distribution into the two size classes is due to selection of alternative sites for polyadenylation. The transcription units contain a single open translation reading frame of 2,304 nucleotides. The sequence of this reading frame is approximately 40% divergent from the sequence of the functionally analogous trp-1 gene from Neurospora crassa (Schechtman, M.G. and Yanofsky, C., J. Mol. Appl. Gen. 2:83-99). The predicted amino acid sequence of the A. nidulans trpC polypeptide is also 40% divergent from the predicted amino acid sequence of the N. crassa trp-1 polypeptide. The A. nidulans gene has considerably less bias in codon selection than observed for the N. crassa gene. Discrete regions of DNA homology were also found in similar positions in the 5' and 3' flanking sequences of the Aspergillus and Neurospora genes. Similar regions of homology were not observed in other Aspergillus or Neurospora genes that have been sequenced. Thus, if these evolutionarily conserved sequences act as signals for transcription initiation or polyadenylation, or are involved in gene regulation, their functions are restricted to a subset of protein coding genes in these two closely related fungi.