The Ultrabithorax (Ubx) gene of Drosophila melanogaster includes two functionally distinguishable regions. One is the Ubx transcription unit, which gives rise by alternative splicing to a family of morphogenetic Ubx proteins (UBX). The other is its upstream bithoraxoid (bxd) region. On the basis of genetic and molecular studies, it is generally assumed that the Ubx transcription unit contains internal positively acting cis-regulatory elements controlling UBX expression in the T3a compartment of the body of Drosophila, while the bxd region contains positive cis-regulatory elements controlling UBX expression in the T3p and A1a compartments. We have performed a genetic analysis of bx bxd cis double mutant chromosomes containing one mutation (bx alleles) affecting the Ubx unit, and a second (bxd alleles) affecting the bxd region of the Ubx gene. Our study of different bx bxd/bx combinations shows that bxd alleles partially rescue the adult mutant phenotypes of bx alleles, which suggests that the bxd region contains a negative cis-regulatory element involved in the control of the activity of the Ubx gene in the T3a compartment.