Barren, the Drosophila homolog of XCAP-H, is one of three non-SMC subunits of condensin, a conserved 13S multiprotein complex required for chromosome condensation. Mutations in barren (barr) were originally shown to affect sister-chromatid separation during mitosis 16 of the Drosophila embryo, whereas condensation defects were not detected. In contrast, mutations in yeast homologs of barren result in defective mitotic chromosome condensation as well as irregular chromatid separation. We have used double-stranded RNA-mediated interference (RNAi) to deplete Barren in Drosophila S2 cells. Our analyses indicate that inactivation of barr leads to extensive chromosome condensation and disrupts chromatid segregation.