The complete DNA sequence of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae chromosome IV has been determined. Apart from chromosome XII, which contains the 1-2 Mb rDNA cluster, chromosome IV is the longest S. cerevisiae chromosome. It was split into three parts, which were sequenced by a consortium from the European Community, the Sanger Centre, and groups from St Louis and Stanford in the United States. The sequence of 1,531,974 base pairs contains 796 predicted or known genes, 318 (39.9%) of which have been previously identified. Of the 478 new genes, 225 (28.3%) are homologous to previously identified genes and 253 (32%) have unknown functions or correspond to spurious open reading frames (ORFs). On average there is one gene approximately every two kilobases. Superimposed on alternating regional variations in G+C composition, there is a large central domain with a lower G+C content that contains all the yeast transposon (Ty) elements and most of the tRNA genes. Chromosome IV shares with chromosomes II, V, XII, XIII and XV some long clustered duplications which partly explain its origin.