The inheritance of an induced mutant for spindly branch and male sterility (SBMS) was investigated in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) in F2 and backcross populations. The results support the hypothesis that the mutant is controlled by a single recessive gene. Extensive breeding work with SBMS, involving several thousand F2 progeny, produced no recombinant of the types expected if two closely linked genes controlled the character. Therefore, a single pleiotropic gene apparently controls SBMS. Allelism tests demonstrated that SBMS is allelic with sb but not with sb-2 and sb-3. The gene symbol sbms is proposed for SBMS because it is a new allele at sb, with the order of dominance being Sb > sb > sbms. Various ways to exploit the new mutant for marked male sterility are discussed.