1. Two mutants of Escherichia coli K 12 were isolated which, although able to grow on glucose, are unable to grow with succinate or d-lactate as the sole source of carbon. 2. Genetic mapping of these mutants showed that they both contain a mutation in a gene (designated uncA) mapping at about minute 73.5 on the E. coli chromosome. 3. The uncA(-) alleles were transferred by bacteriophage-mediated transduction into another strain of E. coli and the transductants compared with the parent strain to determine the nature of the biochemical lesion in the mutants. 4. The mutants gave low aerobic growth yields when grown on limiting concentrations of glucose, but oxidase activities in membranes from both the mutants and the normal strain were similar. 5. Measurement of P/O ratios with d-lactate as substrate indicated that a mutation in the uncA gene causes uncoupling of phosphorylation associated with electron transport. 6. Determination of the Mg(2+),Ca(2+)-stimulated adenosine triphosphatase activities in the mutant and normal strains indicated that the uncA gene is probably the structural gene for Mg(2+),Ca(2+)-stimulated adenosine triphosphatase. 7. Mg(2+),Ca(2+)-stimulated adenosine triphosphatase therefore appears to be essential for oxidative phosphorylation in E. coli.