In the filamentous fungus Podospora anserina, mating type is specified by a single locus with two alternate alleles, termed mat- and mat+. A previous study has shown that the mat+ sequence consists of 3.7 kb and contains a single gene relevant to the sexual cycle. This gene, called FPR1, encodes a protein with a HMG DNA-binding domain and is required for fertilization and for the development of the fertilized fruiting body. The mat- sequence, which is 4.7 kb in length, displays a more complex structure. We present here the characterization of two genes, called SMR1 and SMR2, which are present in the mat- allele along with the FMR1 gene. FMR1, whose role in the sexual cycle has been already partially described, encodes a protein with an alpha 1-domain and was shown to control fertilization. We demonstrate that these three genes are required for the developmental events that occur in the female organ after fertilization. The additional role of FMR1 requires a region of unknown function that is distinct from the alpha 1-domain. SMR1 encodes a protein with a putative acidic/hydrophobic alpha-helix, which has been proposed to be a feature common to transcriptional activators. The protein sequence deduced from SMR2 contains an HMG motif suggesting that it is a transcription factor.