Five formaldehyde-induced deficiencies that uncover unc-22 IV, a gene affecting muscle structure in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans were isolated and positioned. The largest deficiency, sDf2, extends in both directions from unc-22 and is approximately 1.0–2.0 map units in length. The other four deficiencies, sDf7, sDf8, sDf9 and sDf10, are all smaller than sDf2 and are located within the region uncovered by this deficiency. Thirty-seven ethyl methanesulfonate-induced lethal and sterile mutations linked to unc-22 were isolated and tested for complementation with sDf2. Nineteen lethal mutations failed to complement sDf2. Sixteen of these were further positioned by recombination mapping and also by deficiency mapping with sDf7, sDf8, sDf9 and sDf10. These sixteen mutations define 11 new essential genes in this region. Eight of the genes lie in a 0.9-map unit interval to the left of unc-22, whereas the three remaining genes lie in a region of about 0.2 map units to the right of unc-22. We believe that two of the essential genes identified in this study, let-56 and let-52, are the adjacent genes on either side of unc-22. The lethal mutations exhibit a wide range of terminal phenotypes: from first stage larva to sterile adult.