The complete sequences of mitochondrial DNA ( mtDNA) from the two budding yeasts Saccharomyces castellii and Saccharomyces servazzii, consisting of 25 753 and 30 782 bp, respectively, were analysed and compared to Saccharomyces cerevisiae mtDNA. While some of the traits are very similar among Saccharomyces yeasts, others have highly diverged. The two mtDNAs are much more compact than that of S. cerevisiae and contain fewer introns and intergenic sequences, although they have almost the same coding potential. A few genes contain group I introns, but group II introns, otherwise found in S. cerevisiae mtDNA, are not present. Surprisingly, four genes (ATP6, COX2, COX3 and COB) in the mtDNA of S. servazzii contain, in total, five + 1 frameshifts. mtDNAs of S. castellii, S. servazzii and S. cerevisiae contain all genes on the same strand, except for one tRNA gene. On the other hand, the gene order is very different. Several gene rearrangements have taken place upon separation of the Saccharomyces lineages, and even a part of the transcription units have not been preserved. It seems that the mechanism(s) involved in the generation of the rearrangements has had to ensure that all genes stayed encoded by the same DNA strand.