An Aspergillus nidulans strain which is deficient in ornithine transcarbamylase due to the arg B1 mutation was transformed with a plasmid containing the ornithine transcarbamylase cDNA from rat liver under the control of the amd S promoter. Stable transformants were obtained by selection on arginine free medium indicating complementation of the arg B mutation. Proof of expression of the rat enzyme in transformants was obtained by immunoprecipitation of all ornithine transcarbamylase activity from cell extracts with antibodies specific for the rat enzyme. The presence of catalytically active rat ornithine transcarbamylase in the transformants indicated that it is capable of being imported into mitochondria in A. nidulans, proteolytically processed and assembled into its homotrimeric form. In vitro uptake experiments using isolated A. nidulans mitochondria demonstrate that processing of the precursor of rat ornithine transcarbamylase occurs in two temporally separated steps as it does in rat liver mitochondria suggesting evolutionary conservation of the processing machinery. Up to 560 ng of active rat enzyme was produced per gm wet weight mycelia. Use of beta-D-alanine, an inducer of amd S, as sole N-source resulted in increased levels of active rat ornithine transcarbamylase relative to uninduced cultures.