A requisite step in the biosynthesis of tRNA is the removal of 5' leader sequences from tRNA precursors. We have detected an RNase P activity in yeast mitochondrial extracts that can carry out this reaction on a homologous precursor tRNA. This mitochondrial RNase P was sensitive to both micrococcal nuclease and protease, demonstrating that it requires both a nucleic acid and protein for activity. The presence of RNase P activity in vitro directly correlated with the presence of a locus on yeast mitochondrial DNA previously shown by genetic and biochemical studies to be required for tRNA maturation. The product of the locus, the 9S RNA, and this newly described mitochondrial RNase P activity cofractionated, providing further evidence that the 9S RNA is the RNA component of yeast mitochondrial RNase P.