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Yeast strains carrying a 1.5 X 10(6)-dalton double-stranded RNA in virus-like particles secrete a protein toxin which is lethal to strains not carrying this species of double-stranded RNA. We find that recessive mutations in any of four chromosomal genes result in the superkiller phenotype, i.e., increased secretion of killer toxin activity by strains carrying the killer genome. These genes are designated ski1 through ski4 (for superkiller), ski3 and ski4 are located on chromosome XIV, and ski1 is on chromosome VII. A ski1 mutation results in a decreased rate of cell growth. The kex1 and kex2 mutations are epistatic to each ski mutation.