Cell cycle progression in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is controlled by the Cdc28 protein kinase, which is sequentially activated by different sets of cyclins. Previous genetic analysis has revealed that two B-type cyclins, Clb5 and Clb6, have a positive role in DNA replication. In the present study, we show, in addition, that these cyclins negatively regulate G1- and G2-specific functions. The consequences of this negative regulation were most apparent in clb6 mutants, which had a shorter pre-Start G1 phase as well as a shorter G2 phase than congenic wild-type cells. As a consequence, clb6 mutants grew and proliferated more rapidly than wild-type cells. It was more difficult to assess the role of Clb5 in G1 and G2 by genetic analysis because of the extreme prolongation of S phase in clb5 mutants. Nevertheless, both Clb5 and Clb6 were shown to be responsible for down-regulation of the protein kinase activities associated with Cln2, a G1 cyclin, and Clb2, a mitotic cyclin, in vivo. These observations are consistent with the observed cell cycle phase accelerations associated with the clb6 mutant and are suggestive of similar functions for Clb5. Genetic evidence suggested that the inhibition of mitotic cyclin-dependent kinase activities was dependent on and possibly mediated through the CDC6 gene product. Thus, Clb5 and Clb6 may stabilize S phase by promoting DNA replication while inhibiting other cell cycle activities.