We have established a collection of 2460 lethal or semi-lethal mutant lines using a procedure thought to insert single P elements into vital genes on the third chromosome of Drosophila melanogaster. More than 1200 randomly selected lines were examined by in situ hybridization and 90% found to contain single insertions at sites that mark 89% of all lettered subdivisions of the Bridges' map. A set of chromosomal deficiencies that collectively uncover approximately 25% of the euchromatin of chromosome 3 reveal lethal mutations in 468 lines corresponding to 145 complementation groups. We undertook a detailed analysis of the cytogenetic interval 86E-87F and identified 87 P-element-induced mutations falling into 38 complementation groups, 16 of which correspond to previously known genes. Twenty-one of these 38 complementation groups have at least one allele that has a P-element insertion at a position consistent with the cytogenetics of the locus. We have rescued P elements and flanking chromosomal sequences from the 86E-87F region in 35 lines with either lethal or genetically silent P insertions, and used these as probes to identify cosmids and P1 clones from the Drosophila genome projects. This has tied together the physical and genetic maps and has linked 44 previously identified cosmid contigs into seven "super-contigs" that span the interval. STS data for sequences flanking one side of the P-element insertions in 49 lines has identified insertions in the alphagamma element at 87C, two known transposable elements, and the open reading frames of seven putative single copy genes. These correspond to five known genes in this interval, and two genes identified by the homology of their predicted products to known proteins from other organisms.