A meiotic DNA polymerase [DNA nucleotidyltransferase (DNA-directed), EC 126.96.36.199], which likely has a role in meiotic DNA repair, was isolated from a mushroom, Agaricus bisporus. The purified fraction displays three bands in SDS/PAGE, at molecular masses of 72 kDa, 65 kDa and 36 kDa. Optimal activity is at pH 7.0-8.0 in the presence of 5 mM Mg2+ and 50 mM KCl and at 28-30 degrees C, which is the temperature for meiosis. This enzyme is resistant to N-ethylmaleimide and sensitive to 2',3'-dideoxythymidine 5'-triphosphate, suggesting that it is a beta-like DNA polymerase. These characteristics are similar to those of Coprinus DNA polymerase beta [Sakaguchi and Lu (1982) Mol. Cell. Biol. 2, 752-757]. In Western-blot analysis, the antiserum against the Coprinus polymerase reacts only with the 65 kDa band, which coincides with the molecular mass of the Coprinus polymerase. Western-blot analysis also showed that the antiserum could react with crude extracts not only from the Agaricales family, to which Agaricus and Coprinus belong, but also from different mushroom families and Saccharomyces. The Agaricus polymerase activity can be found only in the meiotic-cell-rich fraction, but the enzyme is also present in the somatic cells in an inactive state.