The meiotic effects of several cell division cycle (cdc) mutations of Saccharomyces cerevisiae have been investigated by electron microscopy and by genetic and biochemical methods. Diploid strains homozygous for cdc mutations known to confer defects on vegetative DNA synthesis were subjected to restrictive conditions during meiosis. Electron microscopy revealed that all four mutants were conditionally arrested in meiosis after duplication of the spindle pole bodies but before spindle formation for the first meiotic division. None of these mutants became committed to a recombination or contained synaptonemal complex at the meiotic arrest.--The mutants differed in their ability to undergo premeiotic DNA synthesis under restrictive conditions. Both cdc8 and cdc21, which are defective in the propagation of vegetative DNA synthesis, also failed to undergo premeiotic DNA synthesis. The arrest of these mutants at the stage before meiosis I spindle formation could be attributed to the failure of DNA synthesis because inhibition of synthesis by hydroxyurea also caused arrest at this stage.--Premeiotic DNA synthesis occurred before the arrest of cdc7, which is defective in the initiation of vegetative DNA synthesis, and of cdc2, which synthesizes vegetative DNA but does so defectively. The meiotic arrest of cdc7 homozygotes was partially reversible. Even if further semiconservative DNA replication was inhibited by the addition of hydroxyurea, released cells rapidly underwent commitment to recombination and formation of synaptonemal complexes. The cdc7 homozygote is therefore reversibly arrested in meiosis after DNA replication, whereas vegetative cultures have previously been shown to be defective only in the initation of DNA synthesis.