The ascomycete Sordaria macrospora was transformed using different plasmid molecules containing the bacterial hygromycin B resistance gene (hph) under the control of different expression signals. The highest transformation frequency was obtained with vector pMW1. On this plasmid molecule, expression of the hph gene is directed by the upstream region of the isopenicillin N synthetase gene (pcbC) from the deuteromycete Acremonium chrysogenum. Southern analysis suggests that the vector copies are integrated as tandem repeats into the S. macrospora chromosomes and that duplicated sequences are most probably not inactivated by methylation during meiosis. Furthermore, the hygromycin B resistance (hygR) is not correlated with the number of integrated vector molecules. Electrophoretic karyotyping was used to further characterize S. macrospora transformants. Five chromosomal bands were separated by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) representing seven chromosomes with a total genome size of 39.5Mb. Hybridization analysis revealed ectopic integration of vector DNA into different chromosomes. In a few transformants, major rearrangements were detected. Transformants were sexually propagated to analyze the fate of the heterologous vector DNA. Although the hygR phenotype is stably maintained during mitosis, about a third of all lines tested showed loss of the resistance marker gene after meiosis. However, as was concluded from electrophoretic karyotyping, the resistant spores showed a Mendelian segregation of the integrated vector molecules in at least three consecutive generations. Our data indicate that heterologous marker genes can be used for transformation tagging, or the molecular mapping of chromosomal loci in S. macrospora.