The vestigal (vg) gene encodes a nuclear protein which plays a major role in the formation of the wing of Drosophila. Resistance or sensitivity to aminopterin, an inhibitor of the dihydrofolate reductase enzyme in D. melanogaster, seems to be associated with a specific alteration in vg gene function. Wild-type and vg mutant strains selected for growth on increasing concentrations of aminopterin display changes in physiological and biochemical parameters such as viability on normal and aminopterin-containing media, duration of development, wing phenotype, dihydrofolate reductase activity, and cross-resistance to fluorodeoxyuridine (FUdR) and to methotrexate. Our results indicate that the mechanisms of resistance differ in the wild-type and mutant strains. The vg83b27 mutant, in which the major part of intron 2 of the vg gene is deleted, is associated with a high rate of resistance to FUdR, an inhibitor of thymidylate synthetase. Moreover, vg83b27/vgBG heterozygotes, which are wild type when grown on normal medium, display a strong vg phenotype when grown on aminopterin. Our results indicate a role for the vestigial locus in mediating resistance to inhibitors of dTMP synthesis.