Each one of at least three unlinked STA loci (STA1, STA2 and STA3), in the genome of Saccharomyces diastaticus controls starch hydrolysis by coding for an extracellular glucoamylase. Cloned STA2 sequences were used as hybridization probes to investigate the physical structure of the family of STA genes in the genomes of different Saccharomyces strains. Sta+ strains, each carrying a single genetically defined STA locus, were crossed with a Sta- strain and the segregation behavior of the functional locus (i.e. Sta+) and sequences homologous to a cloned STA2 glucoamylase structural gene at that locus were analyzed. The results indicate that in all strains examined there is a multiplicity of sequences that are homologous to STA2 DNA but that only the functional STA loci contain extensive 5′ and 3′ homology to each other and can be identified as residing on unique fragments of DNA; that all laboratory yeast strains examined contain extensive regions of the glucoamylase gene sequences at or closely linked to the STA1 chromosomal position; that the STA1 locus contains two distinct glucoamylase gene sequences that are closely linked to each other; and that all laboratory strains examined also contain another ubiquitous sequence that is not allelic to STA1 and is nonfunctional (Sta-), but has retained extensive sequence homology to the 5′ end of the cloned STA2 gene. It was also determined that the DEX genes (which control dextrin hydrolysis in S. diastaticus), MAL5 (a gene once thought to control maltose metabolism in yeast) and the STA genes are allelic to each other in the following manner: STA1 and DEX2, STA1 and MAL5, and STA2 and DEX1 and STA3 and DEX3.