R9 was isolated as one of several mutations that enhanced the growth of a leaky amber (am) mutant of bacteriophage T4 gene 62 (product required for phage DNA synthesis) under conditions of partial suppression by ribosomal ambiguity. R9 also enhanced the growth of leaky am mutants of some, but not all, other T4 "early" gene functions. R9 mapped between mutations in genes 43 and 62. By using assays involving polyacrylamide slab gel electrophoresis in the presence of sodium dodecyl sulfate, we observed the following. (i) R9 resulted in an overproduction of many T4 "early" proteins in infected cells. The most pronounced effects of R9 were observed when phage DNA synthesis and/or the functions of maturation genes 55 and 33 were not expressed. (ii) In rifampintreated infected cells, the capacity to synthesize T4 "early" proteins decayed more slowly in the presence of the R9 mutation than in the presence of the wild-type counterpart of R9. R9 appeared to have no effect on the rates of RNA synthesis either during early or late times after infection. The results suggest that the R9 mutation leads to increased functional stability of T4 "early" messengers.