We have examined the partitioning of the yeast vacuole during meiotic division. In pulse-chase experiments, vacuoles labeled with the lumenal ade2 fluorophore or the membrane-specific dye FM 4-64 were not inherited by haploid spores. Instead, these fluorescent markers were excluded from spores and trapped between the spore cell walls and the ascus. Serial optical sections using a confocal microscope confirmed that spores did not inherit detectable amounts of fluorescently labeled vacuoles. Moreover, indirect immunofluorescence studies established that an endogenous vacuolar membrane protein, alkaline phosphatase, and a soluable vacuolar protease, carboxypeptidase Y. were also detected outside spores after meiotic division. Spores that did not inherit ade2- or FM 4-64-labeled vacuoles did generate an organelle that could be visualized by subsequent staining with vacuole-specific fluorophores. These data contrast with genetic evidence that a soluble vacuolar protease is inherited by spores. When the partitioning of both types of markers was examined in sporulating cultures, the vacuolar protease activity was inherited by spores while fluorescently labeled vacuoles were largely excluded from spores. Our results indicate that the majority of the diploid vacuole, both soluble contents and membrane-bound components, are excluded from spores formed during meiotic division.