We have developed a novel in vitro mutagenesis technique that allows us to introduce mutations at the level of double-stranded DNA and then transcribe the mutant DNA directly. The technique is useful for those wishing to produce recombinant RNA, particularly if the desired recombinant is the result of an insertion or deletion. It is also useful for the preparation of 3'-truncated RNAs with a defined end. The technique is not dependent on the presence of a convenient restriction site within the target gene, and does not involve construction of a clone or amplification of the mutant DNA within a bacterial host. It is intended as a simple and rapid method for the preparation of roughly 100-200 pmol of mutant RNA, which would be sufficient for obtaining sequence information and assessing the functional consequences of the mutation.