Calmodulin was purified from Saccharomyces cerevisiae based on its characteristic properties. Like other calmodulins, the yeast protein is small, heat-stable, acidic, retained by hydrophobic matrices in a Ca2+-dependent manner, exhibits a pronounced Ca2+-induced shift in electrophoretic mobility, and binds 45Ca2+. Using synthetic oligonucleotide probes designed from the sequences of two tryptic peptides derived from the purified protein, the gene encoding yeast calmodulin was isolated. The gene (designated CMD1) is a unique, single-copy locus, contains no introns, and resides on chromosome II. The amino acid sequence of yeast calmodulin shares 60% identity with other calmodulins. Disruption or deletion of the yeast calmodulin gene results in a recessive-lethal mutation; thus, calmodulin is essential for the growth of yeast cells.