Thirteen X-linked, cold-sensitive lethal, female-sterile mutants of Drosophila melanogaster located at eight separate loci were screened for their ability to assemble ribosomes at the restrictive temperature of 17 degrees. Females were labelled with 3H-uridine for either 2 or 20 hours at 17 degrees. A mitochondria-free extract was prepared and analyzed by means of sucrose gradient centrifugation. Four of the mutants, l(1)TW-2cs, l(1)HM16cs, l(1)HM23cs, and l(1)HM20cs, had a lower ratio of cpm in the 40S subunit to cpm in the 60S subunit (40S:60S ratio) than wild type with a 2-hour label. The same was true of a 20-hour label of l(1)TW-2cs, l(1)HM16cs, and l(1)HM23cs, which are allelic, resulted in a 40S:60S ratio higher than wild type. Four other cs mutants were found to have less drastic effects on ribosome assembly. The ribosomal subunits of mutants l(1)HM16cs and l(1)HM20cs sediment at the same rate as their wild-type counterparts. The same is true for the RNA in their ribosomal particles. Sucrose gradient analysis of ribosomes from cold-sensitive lethal, female-sterile mutants appears to be an effective method for finding mutants that affect ribosome assembly.