The petite-positive yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae can be efficiently and completely converted to respiratory-deficient cytoplasmic petite mutants by intercalating drugs. Rho0 petites from Schizosaccharomyces pombe could only be obtained in strains carrying a nuclear mutation. In this paper we report the efficient isolation of rho0 mutants in a Sch. pombe strain containing a mitochondrial mutator mutation. We also show that the alkaloid lycorine is able to differentiate between cells containing defective mitochondrial DNA (mit-) and those lacking mitochondrial DNA completely (rho0). Rho0 cells are resistant to the alkaloid whereas mit- and wild-type cells show the same sensitivity.