Su9 of Escherichia coli differs from tRNATrp by only a G to A transition in the D arm, yet has an enhanced ability to translate UGA by an unusual C · A wobble pairing. In order to examine the effects of this mutation on translation of the complementary and wobble codons in vivo, we constructed the gene for an amber (UAG) suppressing variant of Su9, trpT179, by making the additional nucleotide change required for an amber suppressor anticodon. The resultant suppressor tRNA, Su79, is a very strong amber suppressor. Furthermore, the D arm mutation enables Su79 to suppress ochre (UAA) codons by C · A wobble pairing. These data demonstrate that the effect of the D arm mutation on wobble pairing is not restricted to a CCA anticodon. The effect extends to the CUA anticodon of Su79, thereby creating a new type of ochre suppressor. The new coding activity of Su79 cannot be explained by alterations in the level of aminoacylation, steady-state tRNA concentration, or nucleotide modification. The A24 mutation could permit unorthodox wobble pairings by generally enhancing tRNA efficiency at all codons or by altering codon specificity.