N4-Hydroxycytidine, 5-methyl-N4-hydroxydeoxycytidine and 2-amino-N6-hydroxyadenine were tested for their mutagenic activity in S. typhimurium and E. coli cells. Reversion analysis of different markers was applied in a plate-test system, and 2-aminopurine was used as a reference mutagen. (i) 2-Amino-N6-hydroxyadenine was the most potent mutagen. In some cases it gave more than 1000 colonies of revertants per plate. (ii) N6-Hydroxycytidine was the least specific mutagen. Almost all the tested markers were inducible to revert by this analogue. (iii) The mutagenic specificity of 5-methyl-N4-hydroxydeoxycytidine seemed to be opposite to that of 2-aminopurine. This suggests that the former can induce transition of CG to TA. (iv) A comparison of the mutagenic actions of N4-hydroxycytidine and 5-methyl-N4-hydroxy-deoxycytidine showed that deoxyriboside analogues are not necessarily more efficient mutagens than ribonucleosides. (v) No purine or pyrimidine deficiency was needed for mutagenesis to occur for any of the mutagens investigated. (vi) The results on bacteria with different repair abilities suggest that base-analogue mutagenesis (except perhaps for BrdUrd) occurs mainly during replication of nucleic acids containing substituted nucleosides with bi-functional specificity.