In the yeast Kluyveromyces lactis, mutations affecting mitochondrial functions are often highly unstable. In order to understand the basis of this genetic instability, we examined the case of an oligomycin resistant mutant. When the mutant was grown in the absence of the drug, the resistance was rapidly lost. This character showed a typical cytoplasmic inheritance. The unstable resistance was found to be associated with the presence of a repetitive DNA in which the repeating unit was a specific segment of the mitochondrial DNA. The amplified molecules were co-replicating with the wild type genome in the mutant cells. The spontaneous loss of the drug resistance was accompanied by the disappearance of the amplified DNA. The repetitive sequence came from a 405 base-pair segment immediately downstream of a cluster of two transfer RNA genes (threonyl 2 and glutamyl). Modified processing of these tRNAs was detected in the mutant. A possible mechanism by which these events could lead to drug resistance is discussed.