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The SUC gene family of Saccharomyces contains six structural genes for invertase (SUC1 through SUC5 and SUC7) which are located on different chromosomes. Most yeast strains do not carry all six SUC genes and instead carry natural negative (suc0) alleles at some or all SUC loci. We determined the physical structures of SUC and suc0 loci. Except for SUC2, which is an unusual member of the family, all of the SUC genes are located very close to telomeres and are flanked by homologous sequences. On the centromere-proximal side of the gene, the conserved region contains X sequences, which are sequences found adjacent to telomeres (C. S. M. Chan and B.-K. Tye, Cell 33:563-573, 1983). On the other side of the gene, the homology includes about 4 kilobases of flanking sequence and then extends into a Y' element, which is an element often found distal to the X sequence at telomeres (Chan and Tye, Cell 33:563-573, 1983). Thus, these SUC genes and flanking sequences are embedded in telomere-adjacent sequences. Chromosomes carrying suc0 alleles (except suc20) lack SUC structural genes and portions of the conserved flanking sequences. The results indicate that the dispersal of SUC genes to different chromosomes occurred by rearrangements of chromosome telomeres.