Water stress plating hypersensitivity was studied in two strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, one of them being a mutant incapable of accumulating trehalose to significant levels. The wild-type strain was grown in a defined medium with glucose, maltose or ethanol as carbon/energy source. In each case plating hypersensitivity was demonstrated and resistance to the stress developed in the second half of the exponential growth phase. Development of resistance was accompanied by accumulation of trehalose and was apparently unrelated to glycerol content which, under these conditions, was always low. A qualitatively similar trend was observed in the mutant grown on glucose but trehalose levels remained low and recovery of stress resistance was only slight. Dinitrophenol induced trehalose breakdown in resting yeast and simultaneously induced the onset of plating hypersensitivity. A negative correlation was demonstrated between trehalose content and 'plating discrepancy' (log colony count on 'normal' agar-log colony count on stressing agar) for both strains under all experimental conditions. The correlation held for trehalose contents up to about 50 mg (g dry yeast)-1, above which the yeasts were apparently fully resistant. Trehalose was evidently a more effective compatible solute, per mole, than glycerol.