The Candida albicans gene EFG1 encodes a putative trans-acting factor. In strain WO-1, which undergoes the white-opaque transition, EFG1 is transcribed as a 3.2-kb mRNA in white-phase cells and a less-abundant 2.2-kb mRNA in opaque-phase cells, cDNA sequencing and 5' rapid amplification of cDNA ends analysis demonstrate that the major difference in molecular mass of the two transcripts is due to different transcription start sites. EFG1 null mutants form opaque-phase colonies and express the opaque-phase cell phenotype at 25°C. When shifted from 25 to 42°C, mutant opaque-phase cells undergo phenotypic commitment to the white phase, which includes deactivation of the opaque-phase-specific gene OP4 and activation of the white-phase- specific gene WH11, as do wild-type opaque-phase cells. After the commitment event, EFG1 null mutant cells form daughter cells which have the smooth (pimpleless) surface of white-phase cells but the elongate morphology of opaque-phase cells. Taken together, these results demonstrate that EFG1 expression is not essential for the switch event per se, but is essential for a subset of phenotypic characteristics necessary for the full expression of the phenotype of white-phase cells. These results demonstrate that EFG1 is not the site of the switch event, but is, rather, downstream of the switch event.