Legionella pneumophila mutants specifically defective for intracellular replication were isolated using an intracellular thymineless death enrichment strategy. Mutants belonging to two distinct phenotypic classes were unable to grow in macrophage-like cultured cells. One class of mutants was defective for both inhibition of phagosome-lysosome fusion and association of host cell organelles with bacteria-containing phagosomes ('recruitment'). Another class of mutants was defective only for organelle recruitment, suggesting that recruitment may be necessary for intracellular growth. Recombinant clones were identified that complemented the intracellular growth defects of these mutants. A single genetic locus, designated dot (for defect in organelle trafficking), restored wild-type phenotypes for intracellular growth, organelle recruitment, and inhibition of phagosome-lysosome fusion to mutants belonging to both phenotypic classes.