A collection of lethal and semi-lethal P-element insertions in the 70CD region of chromosome 3 of Drosophila melanogaster was used to investigate genes and gene arrangements by a combination of genetic, cytological, functional and molecular methods. The 12 lethal insertions studied fall into seven complementation groups of six genes. Lethal phases, expression patterns and other phenotypic aspects of these genes were determined. The genes and additional available sequences were placed on cloned genomic DNA fragments and arranged in an EcoRI map of 150kb that covers approximately the bands 70C7-8 to 70D1. Determination of deficiency breakpoints links the genetic, physical and molecular data. The sequences adjacent to seven independent P-element insertions were established after plasmid rescue or polymerase chain reaction. Similarity searches allowed the assignment of the P-element insertions to known mutations, expressed sequence tags, sequence tagged sites, or homologous genes of other species. Among these were identified a putative transacylase, a putative cell cycle gene, and the gene responsible for the dominant Polycomb-suppressor phenotype of devenir. The genomic sequence of the l(3)70Ca/b gene reveals a novel heat shock protein (hsc70Cb). l(3)70Da was identified as a member of the CDC48/PEX1 ATPase family and its coding sequence was determined.