Abstract We have analyzed five mutant alleles of two cyclin-dependent kinases from Arabidopsis thaliana, CDC2aAt and CDC2bAt, in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Two of the five mutant alleles produced similar phenotypes for both cyclin-dependent kinases. The other three mutants caused phenotypes dependent on the particular cyclin-dependent kinase. Of all the mutant alleles, only two were found to possess a detectable kinase activity. Our mutational analysis lends further support for CDC2aAt being the true orthologue of the yeast cdc2. CDC2bAt, even though quite divergent from S. pombe cdc2, still retains the ability to interact with at least some essential cell cycle regulators, suggesting some functional homology with the yeast protein. Additionally, we demonstrated that the three amino acid deletion in the DL50 mutants results in the loss of the ability to interact with the suc1/CKS1 proteins.