We have identified and cloned portions of two Drosophila genes homologous to two classes of mammalian intracellular Ca(2+)-release channels, the ryanodine receptor and the inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate (IP3) receptor. The Drosophila ryanodine receptor gene (dry) encodes an approx. 15 kb mRNA. It is expressed in the mesoderm of early stage-9 embryos and subsequently in somatic muscles and their precursor cells. In adults, dry mRNA was detected in tubular muscles and at a lower level in neuronal tissues. Embryonic expression of the Drosophila IP3 receptor gene (dip) appears more dynamic and is associated with developing anterior sense organs. In adults, dip expression occurs in several tissues, and relatively high levels of dip mRNA in adult antennae suggest a role for this gene product during olfactory transduction.