Treatment of tomato seeds with ethyl methanesulphonate (EMS) followed by allyl alcohol selection of M2 seeds has led to the identification of one plant (B15-1) heterozygous for an alcohol dehydrogenase (Adh) null mutation. Genetic analysis and expression studies indicated that the mutation corresponded to the structural gene of the Adh-1 locus on chromosome 4. Homozygous Adh-1 null mutants lacked ADH-1 activity in both pollen and seeds. Using an antiserum directed against ADH from Arabidopsis thaliana, which cross-reacts with ADH-1 and ADH-2 proteins from tomato, no ADH-1 protein was detected in seeds of the null mutant. Northern blot analysis showed that Adh-1 mRNA was synthesized at wild-type levels in immature seeds of the null mutant, but dropped to 25 n mature seeds. Expression of the Adh-2 gene on chromosome 6 was unaffected. The potential use of the Adh-1 null mutant in selecting rare transposon insertion mutations in a cross with "mutable" Adh-1 tomato lines is discussed.