The rough homeobox gene of D. melanogaster is required for the correct patterning of the developing eye. The locus maps to cytological location 97D2-5, a region which has not been extensively characterised. As part of our genetic and molecular characterization of rough we carried out an EMS mutagenesis to generate mutants that map to the surrounding region, 97D2-9 which is deleted in Df(3R)ro-XB3. We have generated 1 visible and 13 lethal mutations which, together with the previously described Toll and ms(3)K10 loci, and other unpublished lethals, define nine complementation groups--four lethal, three semi-lethal, one visible and one male-sterile. In addition to rough, one other locus within this region, 1(3)97De, was shown to be required for formation of the normal pattern of photoreceptor cells in the compound eye.