In this paper, we describe molecular characterization of the FLD1 gene, which encodes glutathione-dependent formaldehyde dehydrogenase (FLD), from the methylotrophic yeast Pichia methanolica. The P. methanolica FLD1 gene contains two exons corresponding to a gene product of 380 amino acid residues and a 225 bp intron, respectively, and its deduced amino acid sequence shows high similarity to those of Fld1ps from other methylotrophic yeasts (80–88%). In P. methanolica, FLD activity is mainly induced by methanol, and this induction is not completely repressed by glucose. Moreover, the expression of the PmFLD1 is strictly regulated, mainly at the mRNA level, its expression increasing with increasing methanol concentrations in the medium. These results suggest that FLD1 is involved in the detoxification of formaldehyde in methanol metabolism, and Fld1p coordinates the formaldehyde level in methanol-grown cells according to the methanol concentration on growth. The sequence has been submitted to the DDBJ/EMBL/GenBank databases under Accession No. AB112935. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.