A new approach to DNA sequencing is described. The method is based on the use of [alpha-33P]-labeled dideoxyribonucleoside triphosphate terminators and Thermo Sequenase DNA polymerase in cycle sequencing. Thermo Sequenase DNA polymerase incorporates ddNTPs as efficiently as dNTPs, allowing the use of low concentrations of these nucleotides in DNA sequencing. Because only the properly terminated chains are labeled and visualized on autoradiography of the sequencing gels, the sequence results are free of background. The intensity of DNA bands generated are remarkably uniform, which makes reading of DNA sequences easy. By staggered loading of the sequencing gel (at 2-3 hour intervals), it is possible to sequence DNA at least 450 to 500 nucleotides. Exposure time for autoradiography with [alpha-33P] labels is much shorter than with [35S] and does not substantially compromise autoradiographic resolution. Data can be obtained after only 12 hours of exposure of an X-ray film. Moreover, cycle sequencing requires very small amounts of single- or double-stranded template. Consequently, it is even possible to generate sequence data from a single bacterial colony. The details of the protocol are presented in a stepwise manner, and some important parameters to be considered for sequencing with this method are discussed.