Centrioles and basal bodies are cylinders composed of nine triplet microtubule blades that play essential roles in the centrosome and in flagellar assembly. Chlamydomonas cells with the bld2-1 mutation fail to assemble doublet and triplet microtubules and have defects in cleavage furrow placement and meiosis. Using positional cloning, we have walked 720 kb and identified a 13.2-kb fragment that contains ε-tubulin and rescues the Bld2 defects. The bld2-1 allele has a premature stop codon and intragenic revertants replace the stop codon with glutamine, glutamate, or lysine. Polyclonal antibodies to ε-tubulin show peripheral labeling of full-length basal bodies and centrioles. Thus, ε-tubulin is encoded by the BLD2 allele and ε-tubulin plays a role 'in basal body/centriole morphogenesis.