Wild-type Aspergillus nidulans has an active transport system specific for urea which concentrates urea at least 50-fold relative to the extracellular concentration. It is substrate concentration dependent, with an apparent Km of 3 x 10-(5) M for urea. Competition studies and the properties of mutants indicate that thiourea is taken up by the same system as urea. Thiourea is toxic at 5mM to wild-type cells of Aspergillus nidulans. Mutants, designated ureA1 to ureA16, resistant to thiourea have been isolated, and transport assays and growth tests show that they are specifically impaired in urea transport. The mutant ureA1 has a higher Km value than the wild type for thiourea uptake. The ureA locus has been assigned to linkage group VIII. ureA1 is recessive for thiourea resistance while semidominant for the low uptake characteristic. The urea uptake system is under nitrogen regulation, with L-glutamine as the probable effector. The mutants, meaA8 and gdhA1, which are insensitive to ammonium control of many nitrogen-regulated metabolic systems, are also insensitive to ammonium control of urea uptake, but both are sensitive to L-glutamine regulation.