The specific activity of branched-chain amino acid aminotransferase was highest when S. cerevisiae was grown in minimal medium containing a branched-chain amino acid as nitrogen source. Growth in complex media with glycerol or ethanol gave moderately high levels, whereas with glucose and fructose the specific activity was very low. Mutagenesis defined three genes (BAA1 to BAA3) required for branched-chain amino acid catabolism. The baa1 mutation reduced the specific activity of the aminotransferase, the stationary phase density in YEPD and caused gross morphological disturbance. Branched-chain amino acid aminotransferase is essential for sporulation.