An alkali-soluble glucan was obtained from the cell walls of Saccharomyces cerevisiae NCYC1109 and baker's yeast by extraction with cold, dilute sodium hydroxide under nitrogen. The glucan, which represented approximately 20% of purified glucan was homogeneous and was shown to be free from contamination by other cell-wall polysaccharides by ultracentrifuging, gel filtration and electrophoresis. In addition to glucose, the glucan contained traces of mannose and nitrogen, but no hexosamine. Structural analyses revealed the presence of 80-85% (1 leads to 3)-beta-D linkages, 8-12% (1 leads to 6)-beta-D linkages and 3-4% branched residues linked through C-1, C-3 and C-6. The molecular weight of the glucan was estimated to be about 250000. Electron-microscopic examination of the cell walls after alkali extraction showed that an amorphous surface layer had been removed revealing numerous bud scar structures.