A hyphally regulated gene (HYR1) from the dimorphic human pathogenic fungus Candida albicans was isolated and characterized. Northern (RNA) analyses showed that the HYR1 mRNA was induced specifically in response to hyphal development when morphogenesis was stimulated by serum addition and temperature elevation, increases in both culture pH and temperature, or N- acetylglucosamine addition. The HYR1 gene sequence revealed a 937-codon open reading frame capable of encoding a protein with an N-terminal signal sequence, a C-terminal glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchoring domain, 17 potential N glycosylation sites, and a large domain rich in serine and threonine (51% of 230 residues). These features are observed in many yeast cell wall proteins, but no homologs are present in the databases. In addition, Hyr1p contained a second domain rich in glycine, serine, and asparagine (79% of 239 residues). The HYR1 locus in C. albicans CAI4 was disrupted by 'Ura-blasting,' but the resulting homozygous Δhyr1/Δhyr1 null mutant displayed no obvious morphological phenotype. The growth rates for yeast cells and hyphae and the kinetics of germ tube formation in the null mutant were unaffected. Aberrant expression of HYR1 in yeast cells, when an ADH1-HYR1 fusion was used, did not stimulate hyphal formation in C. albicans or pseudohyphal growth in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. HYR1 appears to encode a nonessential component of the hyphal cell wall.