The IME1 gene of Saccharomyces cerevisiae is required for initiation of meiosis. Transcription of IME1 is detected under conditions which are known to induce initiation of meiosis, namely starvation for nitrogen and glucose, and the presence of MATa1 and MAT alpha 2 gene products. In this paper we show that IME1 is also subject to translational regulation. Translation of IME1 mRNA is achieved either upon nitrogen starvation, or upon G1 arrest. In the presence of nutrients, constitutively elevated transcription of IME1 is also sufficient for the translation of IME1 RNA. Four different conditions were found to cause expression of Ime1 protein in vegetative cultures: elevated transcription levels due to the presence of IME1 on a multicopy plasmid; elevated transcription provided by a Gal-IME1 construct; G1 arrest due to alpha-factor treatment; G1 arrest following mild heat-shock treatment of cdc28 diploids. Using these conditions, we obtained evidence that starvation is required not only for transcription and efficient translation of IME1, but also for either the activation of Ime1 protein or for the induction/activation of another factor that, either alone or in combination with Ime1, induces meiosis.