The relative transcription rates of three sporulation-regulated genes of yeast (SPR1, SPR2 and SPR3) were determined at intervals during sporulation, using a filter binding assay. The binding of in vivo labeled RNA to the corresponding DNAs increased 3- to 12-fold at the time of meiosis I, in parallel with the accumulation of the SPR transcripts. SPR1 and SPR3 mRNA abundance increased from less than 0.7 to 130 and 90 copies per cell, respectively, between the time of shift to sporulation medium and the initiation of spore formation. This represented a 150-to 200-fold increase in the steady-state levels of these RNAs. Similarly, the levels of beta-galactosidase present in sporulating cells harboring fusions between SPR3 and Escherichia coli lacZ increased at least 700-fold. We conclude that SPR1, SPR2 and SPR3 transcription is modulated during sporulation, possibly in response to earlier events in the process.