The terminal structure of the linear mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from the yeast Candida parapsilosis was investigated. This mtDNA, 30 kb long, has symmetrical ends forming inverted terminal repeats. These repeats are made up of a variable number of tandemly repeating units of 738 bp each; the terminal nucleotide corresponds to a precise position within the last repeat unit sequence. The ends had an open structure accessible to enzymes, with a 5' single-stranded extension of about 110 nucleotides. No circular forms were detected in the DNA preparations. Two other unrelated species, Pichia philodendra and Candida salmanticensis also appear to have a linear mtDNA of similar organization. These linear DNAs (which we name Type 2 linear mtDNAs) are distinct from the previously described linear mtDNAs of yeasts whose termini are formed by a closed hairpin loop (Type 1 linear mtDNA). The terminal structure of C. parapsilosis mtDNA is reminiscent of the linear mitochondrial genomes of the ciliate Tetrahymena although, in the latter, the telomeric tandem repeat unit is considerably shorter.