The Aspergillus fumigatus chsE (AfchsE) gene was isolated from an A. fumigatus DNA library on the basis of hybridization to a segment of Saccharomyces cerevisiae CHS3 (ScCHS3). The amino acid sequence derived from AfchsE is 28% identical with ScCHS3 and 80% identical with the product of Aspergillus nidulans chsD (AnchsD). A mutant strain constructed by disruption of AfchsE has reduced levels of mycelial chitin, periodic swellings along the length of hyphae, and a block in conidiation that can be partially restored by growth in osmotic stabilizer. This phenotype is different from that reported for an AnchsD mutant, in which germinating conidia and hyphal tips undergo lysis and the colonial growth rate is significantly reduced. Despite the defects associated with the AfchsE- strain, its virulence was not significantly reduced when compared with the wild-type parental strain in a mouse model of pulmonary aspergillosis.