Assigning functional significance to completed genome sequences is one of the next challenges in biological science. Conventional genetic tools such as deficiency chromosomes help assign essential complementation groups to their corresponding genes. We describe an F2 genetic screen to identify lethal mutations within cytogenetic region 61D-61F of the third chromosome of Drosophila melanogaster. One hundred sixteen mutations were identified by their failure to complement both Df(3L)bab-PG and Df(3L)3C7. These alleles were assigned to 14 complementation groups and 9 deficiency intervals. Complementation groups were ordered using existing deficiencies, as well as new deficiencies generated in this study. With the aid of the genomic sequence, genetic and physical maps in the region were correlated by use of PCR to localize the breakpoints of deficiencies within a 268-kb genomic contig (GenBank accession No. AC005847). Six essential complementation groups were assigned to specific genes, including genes encoding a porphobilinogen deaminase and a Sac1-like protein.